An Experience That I'll Never Forget

Posted by Lauren
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By Corinne Odom, Social Media and Marketing Intern

My name is Corinne, and this summer I’ve been working as Habitat Montco’s Social Media and Marketing Intern. I’ve worked to engage Habitat Montco with its digital community via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. While my role might seem fairly straightforward, my experience has been complex and more rewarding than I could have ever hoped for.

On my first day, Liz, our Director of Development and Communications, asked me to try and get a feel for what Habitat for Humanity (International) and Habitat Montco are all about. I sat in front of the computer, reading articles and scrolling through Twitter feeds – trying to become familiar with the organization and all the amazing work it does. Right away, I was drawn in by the scope of Habitat Montco’s impact.

There is a common misconception that Habitat builds houses and just gives them away. This myth could not be further from the truth. In reality, Habitat Homeowners purchase their homes from Habitat, paying a 0% interest mortgage for the home.  Once approved to purchase a house, future Habitat Homeowners work alongside volunteers to construct the places they will eventually call home. In addition to its Home Buying Program, this organization does so much more. Habitat Montco’s financial literacy program, Almost Home, gives people the skills they need to be successful, financially stable homeowners. Habitat doesn’t just focus on individuals and families – it seeks to improve entire communities. Habitat Montco’s Neighborhood Revitalization program takes the needs and assets of communities into account and works to empower community partners, residents, and leaders.

Because the work Habitat Montco does is so far-reaching, it touches every single individual it comes in contact with.  From people who shop at or donate to the ReStore to regular volunteers who show up to build sites several times per week, each person plays a crucial role and there are a lot of moving pieces. Every little thing counts.

One afternoon, Cara (Volunteer and Community Relations Manager) and I drove out to a Pottstown build site to deliver lunch to volunteers. They’d been doing some serious demolition in record humidity and to say that they were hungry would be an understatement. It was clear that they had been working hard and doing what they could to make sure the future homeowners would have a place to call home this December. My time on that build site drove home the fact that the amount of attention, talent, time, and effort that goes into the creation of each Habitat home is immeasurable. It comes from every corner of this organization and community.

As the Social Media and Marketing Intern, I’ve taken a lot of pictures, crafted a number of tweets, and seen a lot of the behind-the-scenes action that goes on at Habitat Montco. What I can say is that every single thing that goes on here – big and small – is meaningful. In talking to staff, volunteers, board members and homeowners, I’ve learned more than I could have imagined. I’m walking away with a deeper understanding of the ongoing housing crisis in Montgomery County and the rest of our country. I am more aware of all the benefits that come along with owning your own home. I now know the difference between a nut and a bolt! Most importantly, however, I’m leaving with a soft spot for Habitat Montco. Its impact reaches much further than the individual families for whom it provides shelter. It helps people and communities in surprising ways, and I can attest to that. This experience has been one that I’ll never forget.