“We dedicate this home,” responded a group of forty people in unison, on a cool overcast afternoon on September 26th.
It was part of the litany of dedication at Habitat for Humanity’s Rainier Vista build site, where the work of nearly two years had come to fruition. The group included volunteers, Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, Habitat representatives, and the families who would soon move into the finished houses stood with open doors, welcoming visitors to look around. Hammers, hard hats signed by volunteers, holy books and other gifts awaited the families.
Since October of 2008, over 200 Cobalt employees have signed up to volunteer a day to the Habitat team at Rainier Vista. Each Cobalt employee is given the opportunity to get their hands dirty at the Habitat build site – one day, paid by Cobalt, to give their time, skills, and labor over to something more. Inside Sales Account Executive Shelley Alexander was one such volunteer.
”I totally believe in giving back to my community, and I can’t think of a better organization than Habitat for Humanity,” said Alexander. “There were only six of us on the day that I volunteered, which meant we all had to really pitch in to complete the work planned for a lot more volunteers. The camaraderie was amazing, and the amount of work that the six of us finished was awesome.”
Alexander’s father was a cement mason, so she was familiar with working with concrete. The Habitat team put her to work accordingly. “We removed and cleaned forms, pulled rebar, and used a grinder to smooth the concrete in the places where the walls would eventually be. The grinding was backbreaking work but worth it. Later in the day, we moved to another unit where we installed doors, window trim, and cabinets.”
“It was very fulfilling, even though I was exhausted at the end of the day,” she recalled. “And boy, did I sleep well that night!”
At the dedication on September 26th, Cobalt was recognized for its financial contributions and encouraging employee involvement. It was clear that each volunteer contributes a small part to what becomes a big project. Seeing new homes standing where there was only leveled ground two years ago and realizing the work of many given for the good of a few, the words of the litany spoken that day took on more meaning.
“For family living and sharing, a place of love and respect between all members of the family… As a place where family members may grow in wisdom and generosity and then bring these qualities into their surrounding community… As an inspiration for generous neighborhood cooperation here in this neighborhood…
“We dedicate this home.”
Cobalt is proud to be a part of Habitat for Humanity’s dedication to helping local families find homes in the Puget Sound and proud of Alexander and all who volunteered to make it happen.
*Photos by Dana Hunter