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Habitat Columbus: Wrapping Up a Homelife to Come

United States – May 08, 2017, 10:00 AM

As chilly Infor volunteers put finishing touches on several Habitat for Humanity homes in Columbus recently, nature puts its snowy touch on them.

By setting its build day in March, the team expected avoid the frigid winter temps that can plague February in Ohio. "Who knew that this year February would support shorts weather while March would drop below freezing? And March 17-our build day-was the pinnacle of this cold spell," explained David Stubbles, an Infor Services solution architect.

C'est la vie. The nine intrepid volunteers hunched their shoulders, and got to work.

Here's Stubbles' account:

When we arrived at the worksite, we learned there were three Habitat projects in progress in the neighborhood. (Roughly 25 homes have been rebuilt in this neighborhood by Habitat). We separated into three groups and went to work at three houses nearby.

My group's house was having final inspections that day by the city, which it passed with flying colors.

Since the house was essentially done, we focused primarily on landscaping and garage work. We began by seeding the yard. I can only hope the grass seed we were using was adaptable to freezing temperatures. Just as we were finishing up, snow began to fall. But this did not deter us.

From seeding, we turned to planting arborvitae and various other small plants and shrubs around the front porch. I'm not sure that there are any DIY Network landscaping shows in our future, but I thought that we did a fine job.

At this point, one might describe the snow as a squall; it wasn't sticking to much, but there was plenty in the air.

At another house, one of our teams' first task of the day was to dig up and remove a fence post that had been embedded in a tree stump in a front yard. The guys were particularly proud of the giant hole they made. It demonstrated the fruits of their labor.

Upon completion of our landscaping activities, we rejoined the other teams and walked down to the Roots café. This café is run in conjunction with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Lucky for us, it was just half a block from our worksite. The meal was fantastic. Several of us had salmon. Others had meatloaf. Another had a huge bowl of chili. To help things digest, we shared some decadent brownies. But now it was time to head back into the cold.

Although we couldn't escape the temperature, we would be working in the garage, so we had some protection from the wind and snow. We first had to clear the garage of tools, mulch, excess lumber, and miscellaneous building materials stored there. Habitat staff hauled all of this back to the main warehouse. Then we cut and mounted some metal cladding around the garage door opening. This was followed with mounting a large shelf on the back wall. The garage door would be arriving the following day for the next group to mount.

By the time all of this was completed, our day was coming to a close. We rejoined the other teams, which had spent some of their efforts on final painting and other touchups before city inspections on their houses.

Everyone had a great day, but I picked up the flu from working outdoors in the cold and snow. So while the day itself was fun, the aftermath hasn't been.

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