They say, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”. That is certainly the way I feel about Habitat volunteers on this strangely quiet National Volunteer Appreciation Week. As I walk through the empty ReStores or a silent construction site I miss all 2,300 of you, and it makes me even more grateful for what volunteers mean to Habitat.
“Putting love into action, Asheville Habitat brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.” This mission guides Asheville Habitat, like a North Star, through the most uncertain times. Creating opportunities for volunteers to share their love with our neighbors is the most fulfilling thing we do.
Social distancing makes fulfilling this part of our mission a challenge. As we practice the discipline of solitude, I urge you to reflect on how your generosity has empowered our neighbors to build stable, healthy homes. I think we all appreciate the power of home a little more right now.
My own solitary reflections have been on Habitat’s mission. After 25 years, I see something new: Habitat’s mission starts with Love, has Connection at its center, and ends with Hope. However we practice these virtues now, it still brings us closer to a world where everyone has a place to call home.
I look forward to having all the Habitat volunteers back, putting love into action around the office, in the ReStores, and on the jobsite. We are working hard, right now, to plan for a safe return to operations. We won’t make you wait one day more than we have to, and we won’t ask you to come back one day before we know it is safe.
Until then, please accept the deep gratitude of the Board, staff, and homeowners. You are central to Habitat’s mission and you continue to help move it forward even from a distance.