Congratulations to Anne Kornfeld who was selected as the winner of our first-ever Pens & Hammers volunteer essay contest! We’d like to thank everyone who participated and submitted their essay about volunteering with Habitat. Please read Anne’s essay below that outlines her experience building at Jubilee Commons.


By Anne Kornfeld

Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East is one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences I’ve ever been a part of. This is because of the people and the tasks involved at the job sites.

I had no idea what to expect when I came to the Jubilee site. When I began to work, I was completely taken aback by how professional, easygoing, and committed to the tasks everyone was. The day wasn’t the most beautiful, it was cold. So, it seemed many of us were reluctant to jump in and get started at first. Once our responsibilities were explained, we were divided up into different teams and the work flowed smoothly.

We began laughing, sharing stories about how we got involved with Habitat and what we want to do once the day ended. Most of us had plans to come back in the weeks to come and to see the completed housing site unveiled with new homeowners.

Later in the afternoon, once lunch ended, a couple of team members suited up in harnesses and began applying dry wall and wood work to the outside of the upper story front windows. This was great experience because it enabled a newly minted construction grrl! the opportunity to work on scaffolding, use hammers and nail guns as well as get used to the surroundings of a residential construction site.

Spending a day at Habitat couldn’t be more fun. Each day is different because the work keeps getting more and more involved. What happens one day extends into the next. It’s fabulous to be able to see the changes develop in a short time. I wish everyone could have the chance to work at Habitat for Humanity build site or at least go to the ReStore under the Morrison Bridge. It’s amazing what one learns and finds out by being a part of Habitat for Humanity.

No regrets! Thanks Habitat!