In February of 2020, we sent two different volunteer teams to assist with disaster recovery work following Hurricane Irma. Below, you can read the reflections from the team leaders. To learn more about how Habitat is supporting post-hurricane recovery, click here.

Sebring Reflection:
Abby Krstulic

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to lead a group of local Habitat volunteers to build in Sebring, Florida as part of the ?Highlands County Hammers Back? program. This is the third team from the Fort Collins affiliate that has traveled to Sebring to support their affiliate in providing homeownership opportunities to families whose homes were lost or ruined by Hurricane Irma.

Our team of 17 volunteers built alongside the Highlands County affiliate staff, homeowners, and a group of RV Care-A-Vanners for five days. During the week, we built on three homes and completed a variety of tasks including roofing, placing SIPS panels, and installing siding. At the end of the week, it was amazing to see what we were able to accomplish! Relationship building is one of our favorite parts of working with Habitat, and we had a great time working with the Highlands County staff and Care-A-Vanners. It was especially impactful for us to build alongside future homeowners who shared their stories and lives with us. The hospitality of the Highlands County staff was incredible, and we are so grateful to Thrivent Financial for supporting our team and donating $16,000 to the local affiliate. We hope to return to Sebring soon!


Middle Keys Reflection:
Erika Nossokoff

Did you know that many people?s homes damaged by Hurricane Irma three years ago are still not repaired? Eight amazing volunteers from First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins spent a week in Middle Keys, Florida this February painting, repairing stairs and rebuilding a deck. They learned that while the repairs might seem minor, they had a major impact on the families who still suffer from PTSD because of Irma.

?I don?t think I?ve ever been called an angel before,? one volunteer said after a homeowner repeatedly referred to the team as angels! Our team is also very grateful for Thrivent Financial?s generous partnership with Habitat. Thrivent donated $8,000 to the Middle Keys affiliate and subsidized the cost of our trip. ?