I recently went to Dallas to visit with Shelby and help her build a small project for her new home. Shelby’s home was one of the 1009 homes Lowe’s helped Habitat for Humanity build or repair this year!
I first met Shelby in May, when I went out to help frame her house with Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity at the “National Women Build Week” kick off. That was an awesome experience!
It was amazing to return and see the completed house and join in a celebration of Lowe’s and Habitat achieving their goal to work alongside more than 1,000 families by the holidays.
Dozens and dozens of Lowe’s volunteers arrived to help with projects for the neighborhood and join in a lighting celebration. They planted trees, laid sod and decorated every house with lights for the holidays.
I didn’t help with any of the landscaping. It’s a good thing because my thumbs are so far from green — green is probably allergic to my thumbs. I did what I do best, fired up some power tools and built a toy box.
As the day progressed, the temperature dropped lower and lower — so I ditched the idea of a lid and finished as simply and quickly as possible! 🙂
When Shelby got off work, she and I painted the toy box together and talked about the experience of building a house with Lowe’s and Habitat.
I asked her how her kids have handled having all the people around, being photographed and participating in interviews. She said they have really opened up. They have made new friends in the neighborhood and are more socially comfortable and outgoing. It was interesting to hear her say that because it’s exactly what I was thinking about Shelby. When I first met her she seemed quite timid. I told her so and she agreed that she has become so much more confident through this experience.
As part of the Habitat for Humanity home ownership program, Shelby attended classes where she learned skills like how to tile a backsplash and change out a light fixture. This in addition the skills and experience she acquired while helping build her house has given her the confidence to tackle her very first DIY project – on her own. She is refinishing her dining room table.
I’ve met some really awesome people. This is Lydia, with Trinity Habitat for Humanity, who has worked closely with Shelby through her journey to homeownership.
I asked Lydia for her perspective of Shelby’s growth through this experience. These are Lydia’s beautiful words.
“I met Shelby Rico just after she had been approved as a Trinity Habitat homeowner. She was a young newly single mom and full of concern for her three young children. She wanted the best for them in this new life and knew that their Habitat home would be life changing.
Shelby’s story is just one out of 1009. So many families now have homes that they can grow in, that they can plant their roots in. It’s truly amazing to be a part of something so huge and influential in so many people’s lives and futures. The amount of care that Lowe’s, Habitat for Humanity and all of the volunteers and families have put into these homes is unfathomable.
I will never forget this experience. Because so many people spent just a portion of their time on this earth trying to help others, Lowe’s met and surpassed their goal to build or repair 1000 homes this year. Now 1009 families lives’ are forever changed for the better.
I realized something during this experience, and that is the fact that if you put effort into making the world a better place, being kind and caring about others; you can change the world. Being generous can come in any form of the resources you have to offer; be it time, skill, experience, or just an extra pair of hands or a listening ear.
I snapped this photo at the lighting celebration and I’m ever glad that I did because I didn’t notice the signage during the event. Never Stop Improving! It’s a very impactful message and exactly how I want to live my life.
I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and encourage you all to live an impactful life. Always try to find ways you can better other people’s lives and help the community around you. Kindness moves mountains, while indifference creates emptiness. I can’t thank Lowe’s enough for giving me this amazing experience, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.