Monday, April 28, 2014

NOVA Habitat for Humanity

Nick and I had the opportunity to participate in Northern Virginia's (NOVA) Habitat for Humanity project A Bush with Kindness this past Saturday, as part of our Alma Maters Alumni Service Day.

SUNY Plattsburgh has sponsored a service day for the past three years and has dedicated this day to Dr. Richard Semmler. Nick and I have had a chance to meet and work with Dr. Semmler for the past three years, and seen first hand his generosity to both SUNY Plattsburgh and the NOVA Habitat families. His giving is one of those things you can hope to emulate in life.

Most people only know Habitat to build homes and sell them to low-income families for the cost of the land and materials at a 0% interest rate; however, they've run into an expansion problem. Land is a hot commodity, so they've had to adapt their model and find new ways to help families in need.  They developed a program entitled A Brush with Kindness. The program aims to provide support to the elderly, single-parent homes, and meet the needs of the local community through small projects.

This is our third year working on this Habitat endeavor and so far we have cleared an old shed, repaired a fence, built a fence, and this year shuttered a house and tore down a fence. Lot's of fence work :)

I really enjoy working with Habitat because as I help this great organization complete their work, I also learn great practical skills. Since college I've learned, through habitat, how to instal walls, put down a subfloor, remove carpet, take down kitchen cabinets, insert fence posts, build a fence, and most recently how to properly cover house windows, which included the wonderful use of a circular saw :)

I really do love working with Habitat and would encourage anyone interested in learning more about building to contact your local Habitat group and sign-up to go out to a site for a day! If you're a women don't delay reaching out to them today. The next two weeks are considered Women Build Day's. I attended this last year with a friend and we had a great time. It is a day to get your hands dirty and have a great time accomplishing something that you may never get to do in your own home!


  1. Monica, What a fabulous experience!

    So glad you and Nick were able to take part and that you have had the privilege of meeting Mr. Semmler. I've only read about him, but he seems like an incredible person. His generosity has helped me through school.

    I'm thrilled to hear this annual service day is still going on!

    1. Thanks Maurs! Make sure you keep your email up-to-date with Alumni Affairs come May :) it is well worth your time to connect with folks after college.

      Also, so glad to here that Dr. Semmler directly benefited your studies. I know Nick and I both participated in the Plattsburgh State Service Corps and he was funding some of those students scholarships as well!