Giveback Homes Members from all over the U.S. traveled to Nicaragua for one shared goal: To build a home for Josefa and her family. I was joined by Matt Curtis, Rebecca Brooks, Carrie Hill, Madison Hildebrand, Audie Chamberlain, Jeri Moran, Shaun Rawls, and Giveback Homes Founder, Blake Andrews.
Everyone made a donation towards Josefa’s home, and then got to see their dollars translated into bags of cement and piles of cinder block. As a Member, 100% of all donations go directly to our building projects; none is kept for operating or administrative fees. (Check out this recent non-profit horror story to understand why this is so important).
Josefa and her three sons, two daughters and one adorable granddaughter named Charlie all used to sleep in a structure made of scrap metal, with holes in the roof, and two mattresses that had been rained on for years. Their family has endured so many struggles and obstacles just to provide basic needs for themselves; food and shelter. They each try to find work as tuk tuk drivers, gardeners, and sugar mill workers, for a combined average monthly income of $75/month. And unfortunately, with Nicaragua being the poorest country in Central America, their story is not uncommon.
With all of this in mind, our crew was eager to start building! Within minutes we were drenched in sweat, and within hours, our hands were blistered. Hauling dirt, mixing mortar, and stacking cinder blocks with the guidance of professional masons.
Madison Hildebrand & Audie Chamberlain buddied up with the “Gemelos” (twins)
And after three days of grueling work, we built a home! To celebrate, everyone from the community came over and placed their hand on the walls of Josefa’s home while making a wish for the family. The home dedication was followed by an always entertaining session of musical chairs and piñata with the kids.
Saying goodbye is always the hardest part. Final hugs were given, and we had to remind ourselves that although we had to leave, we knew that our building partner, Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua, will continue to build and help the community thrive.
This is the 25th home built by Giveback Homes in Nicaragua. Since launching in August of 2013, Giveback Homes Members have raised over $160,000 to help those in need with a unique model in which Realtor® Members donate towards building efforts.
To learn more about how you can join the network and participate in a Build Trip visit www.givebackhomes.com.