Hammering for Habitiat

Twenty years ago, Eric Koskinen spent a Saturday at a Habitat for Humanity work site in Paterson with a group of West Siders...and he was hooked. Now he’s a volunteer supervisor on Habitat build sites in New Jersey, and he wants YOU to be part of West Side’s Habitat for Humanity partnership with First Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood.

Paul Higbee recently answered the call, and enjoyed the Habitat experience so much that he recruited his brother-in-law to join him on another build. “We framed the second story of a house, and there was a real sense of accomplishment,” Paul recalled. When the volunteers arrived in the morning there were no walls, and when they left at the end of the day there were walls! “We could see a significant, tangible accomplishment,” he said. “It was the first time I did something like that.”

Nancy Sampson also participated in a Habitat project in Paterson this past summer for a family whose home had already been built. “I was in the group that did the yard work around the new house. Altogether we filled 40 to 50 large bags,” she said. “The best part was meeting the family that would be living there. They were so happy!”

You do not need any special skills or experience to volunteer with Habitat, according to Eric. “Ninety percent of the people who show up have never been on a construction site or worked with anything other than a hammer or a screwdriver,” said Eric, who has an engineering degree as well as decades of experience in construction and real estate development. “You don’t need any experience at all. And you never know what you’re going to be asked to do that day—pulling weeds, putting up sheetrock, installing insulation, sweeping floors. You do whatever is needed on that particular day.” Are you ready to join the West Side Habitat team?