Brought to you by: Community Partner Aho Architects, LLC, www.ahoarch.com
April is National Volunteer Month, and in recognition of this issue’s theme of “Ways You Can Serve,” Community Partner Aho Architects, LLC would like to tell its story in the hope that it will encourage and inspire others to find similar ways to serve our community.
Several times a year, since 2011, we have closed our office, and all spent a work day building homes with Habitat for Humanity. These “Habitat Build Days” have become a favorite way we live out our mission “To use our gifts in service to others, create things greater than ourselves, and build God’s Kingdom.” (see 1 John 3:17-18)
“Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is a great way to express our love for God and man through action and deed. Our team at Aho Architects has truly been blessed and we are grateful for the opportunity to bless others in return.”
– April Cain, Vice President/Sr. Interior Designer
Often, we work alongside the future homeowner and with other volunteers from Riverchase United Methodist Church. Through the years we have participated in every phase of Habitat home construction. Sometimes that has involved arriving in the chill of the morning to see an empty slab and a pile of lumber, spending the day framing walls, and leaving that afternoon with the satisfaction of seeing a home take shape. At other times, we’ve painted, laid tile, assembled and installed cabinets, installed siding and porch ceilings, and shingled roofs. We’ve also framed LOTS of decks and stairs! At one point, we began to wonder if Habitat was specifically assigning us that work.
“Serving through Habitat for Humanity is also an incredible teamwork activity. Some teams do off-sites and build trust by closing their eyes and falling backward into each other’s arms. We do it by passing 65-pound shingle bundles up a ladder to teammates on a roof. Talk about building trust! And, at the end of the day, a deserving family is closer to having their own home with the comfort, security, and stability it brings.”
– Tim Aho, President/CEO
Aside from the team-building aspects of this volunteerism, in our case it also makes us better architects. We believe it is a good idea for an architect to swing a hammer from time to time and to deal with the realities of construction depicted in our blueprints. Since the day members of our team wore space suits and installed crawlspace insulation, we have great appreciation for people who do that kind of work every day!
“From being a college student helping put a new roof on a house to hanging blinds on a company Habitat Day, these experiences have influenced my life and who I am today. Working with Habitat gives us the opportunity to use our God given talents and serve others.”
–Amanda Morris, Sr. Architect
We encourage you and your team to find a way to serve. It will strengthen your team and bless you immeasurably. Come join us sometime! If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us www.ahoarch.com (205) 983-6000 or Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity directly at www.habitatbirmingham.org (205) 780-1234.†