Rebuilding Together, a national organization, provides willing hands to homes of those who are unable to do for themselves and this past weekend we were assigned to the Muma family. The Muma's house was in need of great repair and replacing. Mr. Muma is a Korean War vet and both he and his wife are physically and financially struggling to maneuver through life's daily tasks at hand. Friday night and Saturday was spent scraping, raking, planting, painting, sawing, cleaning, building, replacing and polishing 50 years worth of one couple's world.
Like ants at a picnic, we were swarming. Side by side, elbow to elbow, 68 men, women and teens worked together to make the Muma's home a better place to live. The best part of the day was of course, pleasing the Muma's. But a close second is the way we all had a chance to get acquainted and learn something about someone we never even knew before. Young and old worked together and had a chance to chit-chat while they worked. What began the day as hesitant shy smiles, ended with hugs given and new friendships formed.
I especially enjoyed working with the wife of one of the men that comes to our recovery meetings. Their son has recently had addiction issues and was working with us for the day on work release from county jail. It was great to see him in a different element instead of the required meetings he attended. Sometimes seeing others in another realm speaks volumes much louder than sitting in a meeting listening to a story. Here, he was able to hold his own rebuilding a fence and knowing that he was contributing to something so positive that his past or present struggles weren't the focus. His smile was contagious and friendly. Another young lad of about 15 was there as his parochial school required him to do some community service. He was so willing to pitch in and I told his mom today how much his helping hands and willingness was appreciated. She said he was surprised to hear that others told her how much of a help and a really pleasant young'n he is. Maybe, lately, he's been hearing nothing but what he isn't doing right. I'm glad he was there.
Through the day we withstood two fast moving, damaging, storms and had to scramble both times to move furniture and personal items under tarps for protection. The winds were as high as 70 mph, and we huddled together on the porch, in the house and anywhere else we could find a little bit of shelter. Some large tree branches and a line from the house came flying down which added to the stories we'll have to share for years to come. I was proud of this group that had volunteered their time and showed up in full force to make a difference in someone else's life. I was especially proud that they didn't leave because of the storm!
If I could recommend anything at all it would be to find a way to give some of your time to someone else. It will change your life and your attitude regarding whatever your present situation may be.
You're gonna love it!