Each year AmeriCorps members join together to bring their energy and talents to a Habitat affiliate in the country. This year, HFHMV AmeriCorps members Ruth Patton (Construction Team Leader) and Leah Sakacs (Volunteer Coordinator) traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to help revitalize the Birdland area. When the levee broke, over 200 homes were reduced to just 54 standing.

Here’s what they had to say about their trip:

Ruth: “My only expectation going into the week of Build-a-Thon was that it would be hard work, which I enjoy. It was definitely that and so much more! Close to 200 people were out each day working on nine homes on one street. Building on that scale was very exciting. The progress made daily was very evident and energized everyone. Just being in Des Moines, meeting the partner families, and helping build their homes was very fulfilling. An unexpected highlight was meeting and hanging out with other AmeriCorps members from all over the country. Hearing about what led them to give a year of service and what they are doing at their affiliates was very inspiring. On the whole I found the trip to be a lot of fun and reenergizing!”

Leah: “Build-A-Thon is an experience to remember – and not just because of the constant rain and mud. I was able to learn how to install windows, put sheathing on a roof, and put siding on a house – all while building relationships with others in the AmeriCorps program. Despite coming from different backgrounds and having taken different paths in life, we all chose to make AmeriCorps a part of our journey. Whether it was to better ourselves, to give back to our communities, or as a place to find a new path, the shared experience of revitalizing a community was uplifting and purposeful.”



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