Why I Build: Doug Smith

The Pacific Lutheran University Campus Chapter of Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity was awarded the 2015 Service Organization Award by the PLU Center for Community Engagement and Service.

Though the Chapter was formally founded in 2013, many PLU students have volunteered on site over the years.

PLU Campus Chapter President Doug Smith didn’t have any experience on a construction site before he started volunteering with Habitat, but has been on site regularly over the past four years:

“I attended my first build day in 2011, it rained of course, during my freshman year at PLU.

The build day was at The Woods at Golden Given, and at the time there were only two houses completed, and maybe two in the process. I’m pretty sure we put up and took down scaffolding the whole day. I was glad I could help because I was tall and I didn’t have too many of what I thought of as “house-building” skills.

For the next three years, I helped with a number of houses, doing siding, roofing, caulking, cleaning, and of course more scaffolding. In this process, I knew I was helping families move into to safer, more comfortable and yet affordable homes.

It was not until I attended a home dedication, that I drew a different light towards what my service and the service of Habitat for Humanity was about.

At the dedication, so many people — family, friends, volunteers, and staff, on both the construction side and the organizational side — came together to celebrate the family who would be living in this home and all of the people who made it happen. It was truly heartwarming to see the community come together to celebrate the work done to create a safe and comfortable place for a family to live.

This experience, has given me inspiration to continue volunteering with Habitat for Humanity; to know that each house I work on is one more family that will be able to thrive.”

Would you like to share why you build with us? E-mail office@tpc-habitat.org for more info.


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