On November 15, a group of IXL employees traded in our laptops for hard hats to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. Armed with hammers, nails, and even jackhammers, we spent our day learning new skills, bonding with our colleagues and making a difference in the community.
The work that we IXLers did that day was to help build Habitat Terrace, a development in the Oceanview neighborhood of San Francisco. Expected to open to residents in 2016, the project will provide safe and affordable housing to 28 families. Many of us had never even held a hammer before, but volunteered to give back to the community – while others, like senior software engineer Dave Bemiller, wanted to apply their construction skills to a good cause. “I’ve done a bit of construction in third-world countries,” said Dave, “and I really enjoy building things.”
After checking in and listening carefully to a safety briefing, we broke out into smaller crews. Each team had a leader who explained and demonstrated the task at hand and stepped in to help when necessary. The IXL crews worked on various parts of the building site, from moving piles of gravel to make way for a foundation; measuring, cutting and installing siding; adjusting and straightening walls; and carpentry work such as building frames for heating and cooling vents.
The work was tough, and could even be frustrating at times, but the IXL team kept at it and supported each other – and by the end of the day, we were able to leave with a huge sense of accomplishment.
“Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity was so much fun! It was hard work, but it was rewarding,” said operations assistant Sarah Aguilera. “I am so excited to see the final product and for the families that get to move in!”
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and their volunteer opportunities, visit www.habitatgsf.org!