Thursday, October 25, 2007

What if a community building project wasn’t just about lumber and nails?

Behind the scenes in the past several weeks, a community house building project has been taking shape. (See the earlier post about the volunteer project to build a barrier-free home for a local disabled couple.) So far, a number of Moncton and Hillsborough area businesses have stepped forward to contribute shingles, siding, concrete, interior and exterior studding, insulation, and windows for the new home. Hillsborough contractors and tradesmen are donating their labour. Several Hillsborough residents helped find willing donors and sponsors by contacting people they know.

We’ve even had support from as far away as Grand Falls when Steve Toner, of Timber Top Trusses, not only donated the roof truss package, but then offered to look for sponsorship from his circle of contacts when he runs an upcoming marathon. He wants to donate the proceeds to the house building project. “Why are you doing this?” I asked.

“Because what you’re doing is a really good thing.”

It is a good thing. It’s a good thing for Albert County and it’s a good thing for the couple we are helping. They find it difficult to put into words the feelings that come from being wrapped in love.

But it’s not just about building a house. It’s about a community working together on a project that shows the world we care. It’s about building community spirit. Like Footloose drew people together in a common cause of better individual health, this house-building project can bring people together in a common cause of better community health.

The successes of our community suppers show we like to work together. Camaraderie and warmth comes from working together in the service of others. Our success with Footloose showed that people in Albert County are tired of complacency – of ‘settling for less’ – they want to improve. Now let’s keep the momentum and show the real strength and quality of our heart.

We’ve endured too much negativity recently. Our youth desperately need our attention; they need to be surrounded by adults who are setting an example. They need to see how caring translates to action. And they need to be involved in community building, too.

So talk about this project to your friends and co-workers. Let people know what is happening here. Step out of your complacency. Dare to care out loud. Get involved.

If you want to help out in some way, call Pat Carr, 734-2367.

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