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A Note from Nathan: this labor of love is indeed priceless

Posted: 2009-03-13 10:45:00

Volunteers worked on Habitat’s 30th home at the Build Blitz in Aurora last August. Volunteers are the hands and heart of Habitat. Thank you for building with us.


The sounds of hammers and saws have been mostly silent over the last three months as construction volunteers are taking a much needed break after a very successful 2008 building season. This season marked the building of the 30th Habitat for Humanity home in North St. Louis County. Considering that it takes about 2,000 hours to build a Habitat home, this milestone means that 60,000 hours of faith and love have been demonstrated through the simple actions that come together to build homes in our communities. This shows the commitment, energy and enthusiasm of this organization’s dedicated volunteers.

The federal government places a value of $18.04 per hour on volunteer labor. So the government would value all the hours in volunteer construction on our Habitat homes at $1,082,400! This figure does not even take into account all of the non-construction volunteers who have also put in countless hours behind the scenes. This work includes selecting and supporting families through the building process, planning and scheduling the construction of each home and the hours spent in fund raising, policy making and setting the direction of this organization. Still, a million dollars is a pretty big sum!
In my opinion, each volunteer’s contribution to this organization is worth much more than a million dollars. At our last closing this winter, one of our homeowners put it best when they looked across the table - piled high with mortgages, promissory notes and the deed to their home - and said, “I would never have been able to do this without your help.” You, our volunteers, have helped 30 families build homes where they can afford to safely raise their children. You have built hope in these families’ lives by offering a hand up out of substandard housing. This certainly is worth more than $18.04 per hour… or $1,000,000 per hour… This labor of love is indeed priceless. Thank you!
-Nathan Thompson
Executive Director