I heard about Habitat for Humanity when I was very young, and have volunteered with them in a few different ways over the years. Whether it was volunteering a few times a year to build a house, or being part of the University Habitat for Humanity Chapter, or interning at a local Habitat for Humanity after graduation, I have found working with Habitat for Humanity very meaningful. As someone someone who values community, environment, design and, most importantly, having fun, I have found that Habitat fulfills all of those needs. I joined Meadowlark Builders a couple months ago while interning part time at Habitat for Humanity, and I realized there were a lot of similarities in my experiences at both places. Housing is a basic human need Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, we spend a majority of our time in our homes. In Washtenaw County, low-income, hardworking families struggle to find affordable places to live, which forces them to live in unsafe, unhealthy and crowded conditions. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates homes for these families and positively impacts their lives, their children and their communities. At Meadowlark, I help design beautiful buildings that can provide a healthier lifestyle and a more comfortable place to live. It is, after all, important to take care of our basic needs before we seek more in our lives. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs To find out more about why affordable housing matters, visit the Habitat for Humanity website. Going green can start from rebuilding, reducing, and recycling! Many of us are aware of the importance of green building in terms of sustainability. Buildings that produce more energy than they use have a positive impact on our environment. As we are remodeling a home to create a more sustainable house, we are often left with furniture, appliances, and other home goods that have nowhere to go. And guess what? We can donate those to Habitat for Humanity ReStore! They accept donations of new and gently used building materials, tools, furniture, and appliances, and sell them to the public at 50-75% off retail price. They have already sold 468 tons of material that has been diverted from landfills, and the best part is that all donations are 100% tax deductible. Meadowlark Builders has donated fixtures, appliances, framing lumber, and more. We are working together to make a difference to the environment and to the future, and you can be part of it as well. To find out more about Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and how to give and shop, visit the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at Huron Valley website. Having fun and making a difference For me the best part of Habitat for Humanity and Meadowlark is the FUN! In college, I participated in a Spring Break trip to Florida with Habitat for Humanity where I met tons of awesome people who are still a big part of my life. I also recently volunteered at the ReStore, organizing and upcycling items with my church community. We even got to have fun making old furniture into something that is more useable and beautiful. At Meadowlark Builders, we take a family-oriented approach to homebuilding. We are all about developing relationships with architects, realtors, subcontractors, suppliers and, most importantly, our clients. This helps to produce effective communication through process, integrity, and respect for each other. And all of that makes it fun for us to interact and work with our clients, our community, and each other.