Habitat for Humanity Alumni Build

This June I am planning to participate in an AmeriCorps Alumni house build!  2015 will be the 5 year anniversary of the first Alumni build.  As an AmeriCorps Alumni of the Habitat for Humanity Charlotte Affiliate, I am eager to join in the fun and get back on site!  My time of service changed my life and set a precedent for me to strive and continue to help those in need.  As an AmeriCorps Member I participated in over 10 new construction and home repair builds in Charlotte, NC, Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA.  I broke a finger with my hammer (because I’m so strong), led a KaBoom playground build (because I’m so caring and love the kids),  and met a ton a amazing people along the way (and the list goes on).  The vision for this build is to say “thank you” to Habitat Charlotte for the opportunity to serve, and to continue to show our ongoing commitment to service, and to our communities.   HFH_Seattle

In addition to my hammering hands and painter’s touch, the team is raising funds to cover the cost of construction for not only the house we will build in a week June 13-21, but also enough to sponsor a Critical Home Repair project AND sponsor a house at the Habitat Charlotte sister affiliate in El Salvador.  The art of teamwork is crucial to the success of this mission.  Please consider making a donation to support me, my fellow alumni and the continuing efforts Habitat for Humanity makes to ensure affordable shelter to deserving families. AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon 2013

Our fundraising goal is $100,000 and we are 1/3 of the way there!  All donations made for the remainder of the month will be matched in $100 increments by a generous donor.  You can make donations and track our fundraising progress here:


I’ll prepare a special gift for all those who donate, something artsy probably!  If you have any questions or need more information please contact me! Feel free to forward along and thanks for your support! HFH_Talladega

Please note, if you want to donate $500 or more, it is best to write a check and mail it directly to Habitat.  If you are interested in doing this, please make it payable to the following:

Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte

3815 Latrobe Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28211

“AmeriCorps Alumni Build” needs to be in the memo line of the check in order for the money to go to the right campaign.


In Service,


​”You will be remembered by what you have built,

not what you have bought.

By what you gave,

not what you got.​”


Where are the stakes?!

“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that that have nothing to lose. People, who have stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

This was today’s quote from my MLK Daily Quote App. I found it extremely important as a designer and specifically for me as I am developing an interest in community development. It raises the question of how to develop space for people and make them feel that the space is for them. Is it through a genuine understanding of the people and there experiences? Is it through targeting the needs that are not being met and making them meet? Is it by participatory design tactics that bring the people together to talk about these things? Yes! I think it is all of these things… and plenty other factors too. What I do not know is where the balance is in the weight that each factor is considered. I believe that knowing where this balance lies is what makes any designer great and able to produce great designs that are respected and preserved by the very people the designers were for.Image

Image courtesy of http://worksheetsplus.com/mlk/mlk2.jpg


This past May I had the opportunity to participate in a Habitat sponsored AmeriCorps event in Seattle, Wa.  For one week the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Seattle, Kings County, hosted numerous AmeriCorps volunteers from across the country to join together and get things done for America.  This is a yearly event know as Build-a-Thon, and it is definitely one of the most exciting events of my service term.  Not only did I get to travel to the wonderful west, I also had the opportunity to partake in some strategic formwork building and an intense concrete pour!  Now… I have helped pour concrete foundations before… but nothing quite like this!  The Habitat affiliate in Seattle used the AmeriCorps forces to assist in 3 different projects, I was on the team responsible for ensuring a multi-unit town home doesn’t… well… fall down.  Exciting!  And messy!  I was ready though 🙂

Setting up the formwork for the big pour...When the concrete trucks arrived... we were ready!

Constructing the formwork took a few days, but the concrete pour took only an afternoon.  It took me back to my glorious construction days, and reminded me of how the building processes are an intricate part to the vitality of our constructed world.  Along with hundreds of other AmeriCorps members who serve with Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country, I help build homes, communities and hope.  Habitat for Humanity, who is one of the largest homebuilders in the country, relies heavily on the AmeriCorps members to complete projects like this everyday and help make the possibility of homeownership available to a multitude of families.  Because of volunteer efforts as a whole, AmeriCorps and beyond, homes are more affordable for Habitat homeowners and their families.

I was ready!
My trowel and I!
Fellow AmeriCorps posing after a long day on site.
It rained… and rained… AND rained…

Despite the rain… everyday… a long day on site was complimented with evenings of site seeing and overeating.  Who knew Seattle was full of great touristy things to do?? I made sure I made it to see some architectural gems, including the public library by Architect Koolhaas, and The EMP by Architect Gehry.  Felt good to see a building that makes your heart flutter…

Who says you can't a lever?
Who says you can’t a lever?

Gehry from the Space Needle
Gehry from the Space Needle

Up close and personal with The EMP...
Up close and personal with The EMP…


Go Mariners!
Go Mariners!
Spotted a Serra!
Spotted a Serra!Seattle3