Two first-time Infor volunteers were relieved that paint brushes, not hammers, were needed for a recent Habitat for Humanity Philippines work day.
When the Infor Corporate Social Responsibility Team in Manila put out the call for volunteers, more than 100 employees signed up. Financial analyst Nadine Anne Bautista and HR recruiter Jieanne Grace Teodoro were two of them.
Here are their stories:
I thought twice when I got the CSR email asking for volunteers because, this time, it was for a Habitat for Humanity build. I don't exactly have house-building skills, but I figured there must be something I can be useful for. Luckily, we were informed that we would only be painting houses. No hammers, nails, or hard hats necessary.
We arrived in Humanityville, Calauan, Laguna, and the place was beautiful with an unobstructed view of a mountain. Although it was impossibly hot, I knew it was going to be a good day.
I was surprised to see that a family was already living in the home that my group of five was assigned to. Absolutely no pressure at all that the people who will literally have to live with our work of art were there watching us paint! Kidding aside, it added a nice personal touch to the experience, and I think it made us more determined to do a good job.
We immediately strategized, assigned tasks, and got down to business. After a while, formality wore off, and we were making jokes and singing along to the background music. We painted steadily across wall after wall, until we realized it was time to leave and we weren't done! We were embarrassed to leave unfinished, but our host was very grateful, and we took comfort in the fact that we're leaving the home just a little brighter than before.
Ask any Filipino what their dreams are and, guaranteed, having their own place they can call home is one of them. I wanted to help give that to a family. That's why I volunteered, and that's why I'll be signing up for the next work day.
So good to go to a new place, closer to nature and at the foot of a mountain where the air is fresh and far from pollution.
Our group's task was to paint a house. The walls were not smooth, so applying the first coat of paint wasn't easy. It was a labor of love, or sweat rather, liters of sweat due to the high temperature.
Nanay, the house owner who served as our foreman, made the work smooth and easy. She kept us entertained with cute stories about her husband, her son who used to be a carpenter, as well as how they arrived at the housing site. Though it was a struggle talking to her because of her hearing problems, she kept going to lighten the mood of everybody. She even invited us in their upcoming fiesta. Nanay was very hospitable.