Made with Love: Volunteering to Build A Home

Made with Love: Volunteering to Build A Home

It seems like once you hit a certain age everyone starts getting hitched, and the “engaged” status starts popping up all over your Facebook news feed. A few years in, I’m a wedding veteran and a regular on the summer wedding circuit. Like any guest, I check the registry and see what cookware or serving platter is left for me to scoop up. This year, however, I got to partake in a much different kind of wedding gift for fellow Honest team member, Mike, and his lovely wife Jazmin. In lieu of traditional wedding gifts, they set their sights a bit higher and they registered for a house.

“As a way to share our love with others during this special time, we have decided to raise $10,000 in order to build a house for a family in Tijuana!”

The Honest Team Volunteers to Build a Home

They sent out save the dates with three scheduled build days along with the day of their wedding ceremony. Family and friends could donate money to build the house, as well as volunteer to travel to Tijuana and help with the actual construction.

After hearing about the build, I was immediately moved. In all of the weddings I have attended, not a single one has ever had this level of creativity and giving involved. I had to ask: “Mike, where did this idea come from? I know you’re not on Pinterest.” He shared that as they started the wedding planning process he was shocked at how much money could be spent to celebrate a single day and began to feel guilty. Now for those of us who know Mike, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that he felt guilt around his own wedding. The man has made nonprofit work and volunteering a way of life; his wife Jazmin is no exception. They are simply an inspiring pair to be around.

[caption id="attachment_1431" align="alignnone" width="600"] The House Before: The family’s old bathroom, now replaced with indoor plumbing inside the new home (left), and Enrique and Rosa with their children in front of their “before” house (right).[/caption]

The couple turned to Build a Miracle, a small nonprofit organization out of San Diego, that they had worked with previously to find a family in the community to receive a brand new home. They chose Enrique, Rosa and their three children, a family of five living in the El Florido suburb of Tijuana. Enrique only makes about $90 a week, but despite the high cost of school uniforms and supplies, all three children are enrolled in school and the family is an active part of the community, doing the best they can with what little means they have.

[caption id="attachment_1432" align="alignleft" width="275"] The Honest Team in Action: Nicole, Mike and Janine mix up concrete to lay the foundation on Day 1.[/caption]

I was fortunate enough to make the trip to Tijuana for two of the build days, and the entire experience left me feeling overwhelmed—overwhelmed with the immediate need that these families have and their ability to persevere in spite of it all; overwhelmed with the gratitude these families have for people like Mike and Jazmin who selflessly give back. It was humbling working side by side with a few of my coworkers, this incredible family, and other members from the community knowing how much love was going into this home. It also reminded me that so much of what I love about working at Honest is the common interest we all seem to share in helping others and spending some of our free time trying to make whatever difference we can.

This past Sunday it was 90 degrees outside, and while we were mixing tray after tray of concrete, I couldn’t help but think that at the end of the day I get to drive home in my air conditioned vehicle, take a long shower, and eat a nice meal. There was an escape for me; from the heat, the flies and the dust. Driving back to LA with a clearer perspective of what is important to me and the inspiration I now feel to do more, that is a gift I wasn’t expecting to receive and one that will live with me well past Mike and Jazmin’s wedding.

[caption id="attachment_1435" align="alignnone" width="600"] The House After: Handing over the keys and making the move official (top), and The entire team at the end of Day 3 in front of the “after” house (bottom).[/caption]

~ Honest Melissa

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.