From the Other Side of Service: Reflections from a Volunteer Manager

Working alongside volunteers from the National Federation of the Blind this summer was a learning opportunity for me and a very enjoyable experience. It wasn’t until everyone arrived and exited the bus that I found out most of the volunteers were visually impaired. I figured we would have to make some adjustments to how we usually do things, but I was excited to see what our construction supervisor had planned and for our volunteers to have a great time on our build site.

The volunteers listened patiently as our Construction Supervisor, Wayne, explained the plan for the day – hanging sheetrock. The volunteers jumped right in with some minor modifications. Instead of using a pencil mark to indicate where to screw the sheetrock to the studs, we used a screwdriver to make small divots in the sheetrock, marking the placement of screws. The volunteers found the divots and used drywall screw guns to attach the sheetrock to the walls.

Overall, it was just like any other morning on our build site with our construction team working alongside volunteers, ready to assist whenever needed. Volunteers tried out different jobs, photographed each other working, and shared their experience on social media. Some of the volunteers had experience with construction-related activities, and for others it was a completely new experience. Here at Habitat Greater Orlando, we welcome all volunteers with open arms, and this group truly proved that their blindness didn’t limit their ability to lend a hand and help build homes, communities, and hope. For me, it was a great opportunity to learn how together, we can accomplish anything.