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.
Here are some relatively easy ideas and suggestions to consider. It is important to remember there are three stages or phases to most natural disasters. They are Rescue, Relief and Recovery... and all three need your help!
Not too long ago, I met a woman who was volunteering to build a Habitat house. Owning a decent, affordable home had changed her life, and she wanted to do whatever she could to help make that dream a reality for other families.