This summer, I went on a service trip to Portland with some of my close friends. We volunteered our time to Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the City of Portland. Habitat for Humanity is a Not-for-Profit organization that partners with people in local communities to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. The Boys and Girls Club of America and all their local branches, enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens by providing club experiences that promote positive and productive behavior which demonstrates good character and citizenship to help all children live a healthy lifestyle.
Our first day was spent at Habitat for Humanity. We helped on a project to build a neighborhood where the average mortgage payment would be around $800. The project is an effort to reward low income hard working families with affordable housing. We spent the day moving wood and dirt in order to clear a building site in order for construction to begin. Despite contrary belief, Habitat for Humanity houses are in fact very nice. Most of the homes in our project were very spacious and had multiple floors, a basement, and more than three bedrooms.
The rest of our time in Portland was spent working with the Boys and Girls Club of the City of Portland. We volunteered at their summer camp acting as camp counselors for boys and girls aged anywhere from 5 to 13. The Boys and Girls Club mission is to provide a low-cost summer camp to keep both teens and younger children occupied during the day so that they are not left alone while their parents are at work. We ended our time at the Boys and Girls Club by hosting a carnival for the kids. It was extremely empowering to see that our volunteer efforts made all of the children very happy and made a difference for their summer and in their lives.