Tag Archives: a hand up

Your First House

I mention Habitat for Humanity in my forthcoming book.  When  you volunteer you'll learn everything you need to know about working on houses.  A man closing on his first house, which needed a lot of work, decided to volunteer. That first day he joined other volunteers at 7 a.m.   The owner-to-be worked along side them, providing the "sweat equity" required.  At 4 p.m. the man stood back and looked at the wooden house frame that hadn't been there just hours earlier.  In five more volunteer sessions the house was completed.  The volunteers and the new owner shed tears of happiness. Ultimately he spearheaded the building of a hundred homes, and learned that a heart full of caring, some hard work, and his newfound ability to build a house could make many families dreams of home ownership come true.    

Only a Coat

Every year in New York City we do a coat drive for the homeless and the needy.  Last year we collected 87,000 coats and needed a warehouse to store them.  One of my tasks was to get a phone installed in the warehouse for the coat drive.  When I called the phone company to say what we needed and why, the operator told me an amazing story.  The year before he was homeless and received a coat from the drive.  He said he couldn't believe people would sacrifice such nice coats and that the gesture of selflessness gave him faith in the world again.  So he began to get his life together and a year later he had a place to live and a good job at the phone company.  I thought to myself, "Just when you think it's only a coat."  Melissa Bieri, NY, NY