Homeowner receives key from volunteer builder during Home Builders Blitz.

“No bigger satisfaction”

Everyone’s goal on a Habitat for Humanity build site is the same: a world where everyone has a decent place to live. But volunteers come from all over, with many different motivations and skill levels. All are welcome.

Will Baumann, a junior at the University of Louisville, first built with last August.

“I’ve been going every Saturday since,” Will says.

Portrait of Will
Will Baumann

“I like the work that we do. You get to help others, which is the main idea,” he says. “One of the other reasons that I go is I’m a college student, and I couldn’t find a better way to relieve stress than to go out every weekend and smash some things with a hammer and get dirty and all the things we miss out on when we’re students.”

What he hasn’t missed out on is expanding his build site experience.

“I’ve picked up a lot. Basically, the only thing I knew how to do starting out was how to swing a hammer. Now there’s everything about raising roofs, you’ve got squaring the walls, putting the top plates on, putting up drywall, crawlspace prep,” he says. “My favorite part is when they let me drive the trucks.”

Another builder is John McLeay III, who volunteers his time and expertise as a professional builder to during Habitat’s national Home Builders Blitz event each year.

“I just keep coming back. I look forward to it every year,” he says.

A wonderful part of the build process is getting to be around families working for their own home, John says.

He watches the children as they run through the completed house, checking it out, picking out their rooms, so happy to be in a new home.

“There’s no bigger satisfaction,” he says. “It’s so rewarding to see that level of happiness.”