Our first-ever Building on Faith Project took Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley from a vision and plan to an achievement and celebration in less than six hours.
Through a partnership with Thrivent, 13 faith organizations and 130 volunteers, a day of service and unity was gifted to Rancho Damacitas. Designed to give young women a hand up and a way out, but not a handout, the mission of Rancho Damacitas is to break the generational cycle of child abuse and poverty by offering stable, safe housing and a life plan for employment and education.
Our collaboration brought all different ages, races and economic backgrounds together to rally for a common cause. On a misty fall morning, this truly exceptional outcome resulted in two painted homes, a beautified chapel area, two built playhouses, four mailboxes, and freshened up landscape.
A highlight of the morning for the young resident mothers included meeting and working alongside Rita, the next Habitat homeowner. As a single mother of four boys, Rita knows exactly how it feels to need a hand up. Through her kind smile and hard work, she added another ray of hope to the Rancho Damacitas women.
In addition to Rita, residents of Rancho Damacitas were introduced to many volunteers, expanding their knowledge of admirable nonprofits and faith centers right here in their own town. Shoulder to shoulder, Temecula Valley locals painted, built, dug and raked their way to new memories.
But more than accomplished goals, we believe in keeping our priorities straight. One of our taglines at Habitat is “People over projects.” In the midst of working, Habitat staff engaged with volunteers, the Rancho Damacitas directors, and the young women who call Rancho Damacitas home. It’s admirable to work hard toward a construction or beautification goal, but it’s even more noble to keep our fellow humans the main focus. When we left Rancho Damacitas we knew we had accomplished both.
This event was called Building on Faith. In addition to working with faith centers and people of faith, the double entendre is that faith was also built amongst the directors and young mothers of Rancho Damacitas. We gave them freshly painted buildings and a beautified property, but we also gave them hope. They are seen, included, and certainly valuable members of society.
Taking the time to be outward-focused spreads kindness faster than spreading mulch.