At Launchpad, we are very fortunate to be able to work on campaigns and initiatives with Habitat for Humanity NYC on a daily basis. It’s immensely gratifying to know that the work we do to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds goes directly to building and preserving communities in our own backyard. Recently, we decided to take that to the next level by signing up as an agency to volunteer for a build day.
Fifteen of us arrived at a semi-detached house in St Albans, Queens, on the hottest day in August. The site supervisor explained that this was one of 26 sites Habitat for Humanity NYC had recently secured from the city to build affordable housing for families. Upon completion, these homes will retain affordable housing status, so if and when a family sells their home, it will go to another family with a similar financial profile. It helped to know that the work we were doing in the 100+ degree heat would pay off for generations to come. He then distributed drills and power tools to a bunch of agency folks. Very scary.
Fortunately, there was a support team of workers onsite to help us along. Clad in hard hats, boots and gloves, we set out for the day’s task—building a perimeter fence around the site. It was quite a site. Art directors and writers screwed enormous wooden panels into 2x4s. Account executives operated table saws. Office directors dug trenches for post holes. And eight hours later, we had a great green wall around the property to show for it.
While we believe the work we do every day matters, that day, as we dragged our sore, sunburned bodies home, we could reflect on work that truly made a difference—bringing Habitat for Humanity NYC and one of their families one step closer to home. With all of our fingers intact.