Building on our community core value, 28 GSD&M employees braved the Texas heat for Habitat for Humanity projects this past Saturday. With both projects set in the east side of Austin, volunteers were tasked with pouring concrete and framing at the new construction site and painting and fence building at the home repair site.
“It was such an eye opening experience for those of us that don’t have a chance to be out there every day. We sit behind a screen most days and there are people working with Habitat 40-60 hours a week,” noted Mario Solis, account manager at GSD&M.
“Saturday was the most rewarding experience I have ever had participating in a community outreach project,” said Carol Keesee, planning operations manager. “It was hard work and it was hot; but it was also fun and very humbling.”
According to Habitat for Humanity’s website, nearly 2 billion people around the world live in slum housing and over 100 million are homeless. Habitat for Humanity is needed to help eliminate poverty by providing simple, decent shelter to those in need.
“We also had a chance to meet the family and that was really great. Got to know who they are, their background and it put everything into perspective of why we were doing what we were doing,” Solis added.
GSD&M employees also had the opportunity to work side-by-side trained builders and other local volunteers and were asked to get creative when materials were not available.
“The Habitat staff are remarkable human beings. They do this backbreaking work day in and day out and yet, they treat each day, each build like it was the first one and with enthusiasm,” noted Ann Monachino, assistant to the CEO at GSD&M. “They treat the volunteers like rock stars and always have smiles on their faces. To volunteer and work with these folks was a true honor and a life lesson for me to do more,” she continued.
“As a first-timer, it was great to see all the hard work put into the project pay off on the last day,” said Cara Maschler, account supervisor at GSD&M.
In the end, all GSD&M volunteers could agree it was a great experience and one that brought people from all different backgrounds together to do something for the greater good.
“We painted, caulked, cleaned up construction materials and even put in a front flower bed using existing materials from the property. Habitat took a little bit of East Austin history and breathed a new chapter into it with our help. I was SO sweaty and dirty when I left, but so proud to contribute and represent GSD&M in this good deed,” Maschler continued.