It’s a hot and sunny Saturday morning as I locked my car and headed down Monument Ave. towards the Dayton Dragons Stadium. Today was the Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors Habitat for Humanity Home Build day. Agents from the Coldwell Banker offices across the Greater Dayton Area had gathered at the Fifth Third Field Plaza to begin the day’s work. As I began settling in and preparing my camera for today’s shoot, I could hear Ron Sweeny, Managing Partner deliver safety information to the eager agents.
Shortly after, the agents broke into groups of 5-8 as they began to piece together the frames for the home. The repeating thumping of nails being hammered echoed through the downtown Dayton streets. Before I knew it, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a busy construction site dodging planks and trying not to get in anyone’s way. A few hours in, I was able to catch up with Lisa Arzate, an Associate Partner from the Kettering office to see what she had to say about the day so far. This was her first home build, she was excited to learn that these builds require no construction experience. Lisa mentioned how approachable this project was for her due to the helpful Habitat for Humanity staff providing instruction and guidance while maintaining a safe environment for her and her teammates to work.
As the work began to wind down towards the end of the build, the blissful summer-time smells of an outdoor barbecue wafted through the city streets. The Coldwell Banker Grillin’n’Chillin’ truck was making an appearance – quite a sight for the hungry volunteers. The agents and staff - hungry and exhausted decided to tap out for lunch while the Dayton Dragons players came out to help put together the frames. Soon after, we were eating burgers looking at the result of hard work on a Saturday morning. I found myself considering Lisa Arzate’s words, and how simple and approachable this whole build was to the average person. With only a few hours, some dedicated volunteers, and a bit of barbecue – a home went from some blueprints to a standing structure. I think next year, you’ll find me on the other side of the lens with a hammer in hand.
If you are interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity or are thinking about volunteering yourself, stop by their website and have a look around!https://daytonhabitat.org/volunteer/