I don't think I will ever forget the call I received on Saturday morning, May 21, 2011. An employee of mine called me at home to tell me that Eric was involved in a serious hang-gliding accident the day before. Disbelief and sadness filled me.
According to a count made last year by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, a staggering 62,619 U.S. veterans are homeless. Too many men and women who bravely served our country are living on the streets and struggling with the uncertainty of their future.
Amid all the hand-wringing and soul-searching that higher education is going through about the value and the cost of a liberal arts education, we lose sight of one fundamental truth - it changes lives. For the better.
So many families in the autism community have a hard time living in apartments because of the noise and the specific needs that their children have. Providing affordable homes for these families has just really filled my heart.
By the time I got to the register, I felt like a pariah. The only thing worse than having an argument with someone in public is doing it in a charitable place like Habitat for Humanity. It's like yelling at a nun or cutting off an ambulance.
As service became a defining aspect of growing up in America, the infrastructure moved from the church to the schools and became so secularized that conversations around faith were discouraged -- even taboo.
Whether in response to disaster or conflict, or to the changing needs of the neighborhoods in which we live and work, Habitat brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Together we can make a difference.
The act of building, of renovating, of coming together cements a bond not easily undone. When we bring together available resources, take decisive action and advocate for lasting change, we build the kind of stability, that Haiti -- and we -- need.