For R U OK Day a group of volunteers went out on a community volunteer day to paint a women’s transitional shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence. Dave is one of the volunteers we interviewed on the day.
Dave has been a volunteer with Habitat for about four years now having participated in over 100 volunteer days, safe to say Dave is a real asset to our volunteering program. Dave came to know Habitat in his previous role whilst he was looking for a social responsibility program to implement into the company he was working for at the time. Dave gave Habitat a call and before he knew it he was out on a volunteer day. Dave quickly realized what a difference he and his colleagues could make and fell in love with the Brush With Kindness program and Bushfire recovery Program in New South Wales. It wasn’t long before Dave had signed up for our overseas volunteering program, Global Village and was on a plane to Nepal to build a home alongside one of our partner families.
Dave shared what it is about Habitat that keeps him coming back after all these years: “ I still think it’s a fantastic operation. Otherwise, I wouldn’t come back. It’s really rewarding and the people on the activities are great too. It is a really great concept, and it does things that make a real difference. I think people can give money quite easily, but getting out there, getting your hands dirty, and meeting people makes just as such a difference. It’s just the right thing to do to go out and help.”
We asked Dave what Home meant to him and he shared a beautiful response with us: “ I think it’s a very understated concept. A lot of us probably take it for granted. We’ve got a warm bed every night we go home to your loving family painted walls, a roof that doesn’t leak. A lot of people don’t have that, more than we think. So I think for the women and children coming from their previous traumatic conditions a safe home is everything. Home is a sanctuary and a place of safety but in a lot of cases, we are all guilty of taking it for granted. Home to the families we help means everything to them. It’s for kids, it’s a haven away from trauma. It means a whole range of things that so many of us can’t even begin to understand as we have lived a safe and protected life in our homes. So if you can paint a wall, I think it reinforces how important it is and gives a family or mother or child somewhere to feel safe and at home.”
When interviewing Dave he brought up an interesting fact about why some of his friends or people over the years have been reluctant to volunteer. It came to my surprise that he mentioned some people are afraid of the unknown or aren’t sure if they want to put themselves in a new environment for the day. Dave shared that he always encourages his friends to try a volunteer day because he said nothing beats the sense of accomplishment and it’s very rewarding even though he reinforces that is not the point but a bonus is you walk away feeling great.