Caroline Lujan has been a regular volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East since getting involved in early 2016. Below, read some words she wrote about her experience working alongside future homeowners to help build homes in Portland.
“Growing up, my mother was always getting into some sort of new project around the house and I would always find myself getting my hands dirty. My mother inspired me by showing me women do build.
I have worked in hospitality, interior design as an assistant, and currently seeking a career as an electrician. Right now, I’m actively involved with NECA IBEW local 48 for a ten week pre-apprentice program. My goal is to be a Journeyman Electrician for IBEW.
My first volunteer experience was with Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale foundation (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration). Early 2016, I started volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Once I learned about Habitat’s mission, I just knew that I had to give it a try. I wanted to get involved with the community and gain new skills and knowledge. I found myself really enjoying my time spent working with the Habitat. The crew at Glisan Gardens in Gresham is one of a kind. It is challenging at first but you’re guided by individuals who are masters of the trade and will teach you how to work smarter not harder.
Every day, I learned new skills on site that I will apply to my future goals. By giving a little bit of my time, I was surrounded by noble individuals helping families achieve their goals. It is a remarkable feeling giving back to the community. I have gained a sense of achievement.
Habitat brings hope to families in the Portland metro area by giving the homeowners an opportunity to be part of a sustainable community. I had a chance to work side by side with these homeowners as they achieve the goal of 500 hours of sweat equity. With the housing crisis we are facing, my hard hat goes off to everyone involved. Most importantly my gratitude goes out to the hard working families who have proved they have grit and never gave up on the dream of being a homeowner when it seemed impossible.
Since 1976, “Habitat is building homes, building lives.” I’m honored to be a part of Habitat for Humanity. Thank you for serving our community and bringing hope to family’s in a time of need.”