OPINION: What Brings the Habitat Team Together

Written By: Sarah Burnett - June 1st, 2022

In our present culture, unity can seem increasingly rare. One hardly has to turn on the news anymore to hear stories of division along all kinds of lines, regardless of how worthy the cause or how noble the people standing behind it. It is in these times that I have found myself appreciating more than ever the rare unity that I find in my work at Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg.

Our Board and staff are a small, close-knit team, but our community is large and far-reaching. Our donors include government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, interfaith alliances, family estates, and individual givers. Our volunteers include young children and parents who help at family events, high school and college students working on construction sites, and older adults and retirees who serve regularly on our committees and work sites—both construction and ReStore. Our ReStore customers are from all backgrounds and walks of life, and they never have more fun than when they all come together every other Saturday for the auction experience. And all the families we serve, whether through the Homeownership Program or the Critical Home Repair Program, also become part of this community, giving back and paying it forward to help us help others like them.

All these people and organizations, with all the diversity of life and perspective that they carry, and somehow they bring all of that together in support of Habitat for Humanity. I see people capitalize on their distinctions rather than divide over them. I see people bring their strengths with confidence, and make up for each other’s weaknesses without judgment. Not one soul in this entire team is perfect, yet I witness personal accountability and interpersonal grace in abundance. When we brush up against differences, we usually celebrate them, and when we cannot celebrate, we still manage to respect. What makes this rare unity possible? What brings the Habitat team together? Well, we can tell you:

“Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”

This is our mission, and it is what unites us. This common purpose, by God’s calling and grace, is what brings and binds us together as diverse parts in one body. The initial reasons that people encounter Habitat for Humanity can vary—seeking help, wanting to give, looking for work, you name it—but the reason so many people turn a one-time encounter into long-term engagement is singular: Our mission.

“I prayed daily that God would lead me to the job that was meant for me,” said BJ Camp, our newest staff member and Volunteer Coordinator. “To have a group of people that are working together for the same common goal is amazing, and to be doing it all to glorify God and care for His people just adds to it. I feel at home.”

Carrie Vaughn, our Associate Director of Homeowner Engagement, put it this way, “On the frontlines, our jobs are unique, but the working culture is that we are all about family. We help each other in any capacity, work-related or not. The work that I do impacts families independently, but our work collectively is impacting the Spartanburg community, the community in which I live and call home.”

We are not just building houses; we are building homes, communities, and hope. Those are things that the world sorely needs—not just one small subset of the world, but the whole world, and especially now. I need it, and you need it. And we can only achieve it by unifying instead of dividing, turning towards each other instead of to ourselves, and accepting God’s help instead of rejecting his power.

So, whether you are looking to give or to receive through your engagement with Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg, you should know that you’ll experience both when you’re with us. In this community, we are always seeking to serve one another and being lifted up by each other, all by the power and love of Jesus Christ. If you join this team, you’ll find yourself giving more than you thought you had and receiving even more than you ever imagined. We invite you to join us—to support our mission, and to become a part of this incredible community.

Will you accept the invitation?
Let us know!

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