Day of Action

Signing in for the Day of Action
The high school students arrive
Lynne gives the safety lecture
Everyone listens for their assignments
Plaster dust fills the air as we demo the bathroom
Sarah hanging from the ceiling
First dumpster full and being hauled away
The garage comes down
Frank is even dirtier than Tom!

All week we have been working on our Habitat for Humanity house here in Adrian.  Yesterday was the Day of Action, sponsored by the Lenawee County United Way.  Many communities have a Day of Action, where the United Way encourages businesses to get involved in hands on projects in the community.  The Day of Action is similar to Mission Blitzes in which I have participated.  The community is covered by volunteers working on many different projects.  Yesterday 1,700 volunteers spread out all over Lenawee County, including 125 volunteers on Front Street, where we have been working.

I really enjoyed seeing people arrive for the Day of Action – they all had on shirts that said “Live United.”  Our Care-a-Vanner group was the first to arrive, because our work day begins at 8 a.m.  The other volunteers started showing up close to that time, but they had to register and attend a safety lecture before they could start working.  We had a large group of high school students, a group of Realtors from Foundation Realty, people from the local Rotary, and some workers from an energy company.  You could feel the energy as everyone gathered with hard hats, work gloves, and safety goggles on at the beginning of the day.

Tom and I supervised the Realtors in the gutting of the kitchen and bathroom inside the house where we have been working.  They didn’t really need much supervision – they were really into the demolition!  We had a crew of seven that worked very hard all day.  We took down a layer of drywall or paneling over a layer of plaster and then took down the lathing behind both of them.  We also pulled down tile and smashed up a cast iron bathtub – that cast iron was heavy!  Respirator masks were a requirement in the afternoon when the plaster started coming off the ceiling.  At the end of the day everyone was covered with plaster dust and dirt.  One of the Realtors – Frank – was even dirtier than Tom!

You get to know people fast when you are working next to them swinging sledges and crowbars.  The Realtors were really fun, hard working, and proud of their city.  I would buy a house from them – if I was going to buy a house in Adrian!  Sarah brought her multi-tool and was ready for anything.  I even have a picture of her swinging from the ceiling when her hammer got stuck.

Another crew of Realtors pulled down the garage outside the house.  Tom worked with a group of high school students taking down bricks from the chimney for part of the afternoon.  The Rotary group painted house numbers on the curbs all along the street.  Most of the high school students worked on painting a house along with the energy company employees.  Several homeowners got new handrails or other small fix-it projects done.  We filled up a second dumpster (our Care-a-Vanner crew had filled up the first dumpster during the week) and got everything cleaned up before we headed home for the day.

It was a great day – beautiful weather and excellent energy – as everyone worked together to improve the neighborhood.  We Lived United, coming together for our Day of Action on a lovely September day to do our part for the city of Adrian.

  • Robin McNeil Hinman

    It has been a blessing having you and all of the Car-A-Vanners join us here in Adrian! Great recap Karen. Habitat of Lenawee is very grateful for the support of our volunteers. (Robin Hinman, Habitat of Lenawee, Resource Development Director)