Going beyond builds – Young volunteers share how they stay engaged amid a pandemic

In a typical year we are so fortunate to have the support of our volunteers who would travel overseas to actively work on home construction. Of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to in-person activities overseas, and more recently local volunteering has also paused. But all is not lost.

“We have been inspired by the creative ways that our supporters have continued to support those less fortunate, at a time that is difficult for us all,” said Dan, Habitat Australia’s Head of Impact Giving and Engagement.
Sophia recently turned 6 and selflessly asked her family and friends to make a donation to Habitat rather than receive birthday gifts. She raised an incredible $265 in a matter of days.

Sophia’s father Pascale told us why.

“Every year for her birthday, in lieu of gifts, Sophia chooses an organisation to fundraise for. She is a social butterfly who loves nothing more than inviting all her friends for a big celebration, but we have always felt that with her large circle of friends, we would end up with far too many gifts (many of which tend to be disposable and quickly end up in landfill). Ultimately, her birthday gift is the presence of all her friends.

When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday this year, she shrugged and really couldn’t think of anything. However, when we asked her what social cause she wanted to fundraise for, she did not even hesitate, ‘oh that’s easy Mummy, I think we should help get a house for someone who doesn’t have a home. We had already heard of Habitat for Humanity and a little bit of research confirmed that your organisation best reflects our values of sustainability and empowering communities.

When we asked Sophia why it was important to her that everyone has a safe place to live, she replied, ‘Because if people don’t have a home then they can’t be safe. Everybody needs a safe home, not just us. That’s not fair if some people don’t have a home to live in.’

On behalf of the families your gift will help support, thank you Sophia!