Audrey, an American Sign Language teacher, and her partner Alberto sign, “I really love you” while holding up their symbolic key engraved with the word “Strength” at their Home Dedication. They donated more than 400 hours to 21 other families in Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program.
People partnering with Habitat to achieve homeownership have their hands full. They are working hard at their jobs, caring for their families, and building their homes from the ground up. For Habitat Homebuyer Audrey, however, her hands were doing much more.
Audrey is deaf and uses her hands to speak. She also uses her hands to teach others American Sign Language. Yet, with her hands already so full, Audrey still decided they needed to do more.
After she and her partner Alberto put in the 300 hours of sweat equity required to qualify for a Habitat mortgage, they kept going. Together, their helping hands did 741 hours of labor, benefiting 21 other families in Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program.
“It’s really worth it,” Audrey explained about volunteering with Habitat. “Being able to help other people really touched my heart. I didn’t know I could help so many people in the community.”
Additionally, Audrey’s home dedication made it clear that her hands impacted countless lives throughout the community. Dozens of people packed the inside of her new home—a home she helped build—to celebrate her success. It was also clear that her journey of inspiring and helping others was not over.
“I will still give my time to volunteer [with Habitat], to pay it forward because I know there are many families out there [that] I need help– and they need encouragement,” Audrey said.
After all, lifting others up and making a difference in people’s lives is what Audrey’s hands were meant to do.