Volunteer Kelly Chapman Talks about Raising the Roof in Norwalk

Posted by guest blogger: Kelly Chapman

I had the distinct pleasure of volunteering with my 20-year-old daughter to restore a ravaged property in the Norwalk area.  My home church, Mosaic scheduled a SERVELA day and there were several volunteers who showed up.  It was nice to see such diversity!  People from different backgrounds and all ages were there in the blazing heat, prepared to do some "good" damage on both the inside and the outside of the home.

For me personally, I am new to Los Angeles, and I have been trying to find my way to connect and make a difference. Due to my extensive travels, this is a hard task.  I was so glad that this particular weekend was good for both my daughter and me.  It is my hope that I can instill the joy of both volunteerism and philanthropy in her heart early.  Joining with Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. and Mosaic Church was an experience that neither of us will forget!

Firstly, I guess I expected to learn a few things about home renovation:  like maybe how to paint, how to install a toilet, or install crown moldings, etc. 

Nope, we were immediately assigned to the roof!

From the ground, it looks fairly simple.  It is not until you climb the ladder of the one-story ranch that you feel the challenge of being up in the air.  But without hesitation, we all scrambled up the ladder and began our task: pulling up the roof exposing the wood, and throwing the debris in the dumpster.  In addition, we needed to pull up hundreds of nails.  It was so good to see my daughter busy ripping up a full section of the roof, and of course - as the concerned Mom, I wanted her to steer clear of the edges.  She moved to a portion of the roof where I couldn't see her, and worked tirelessly (that calmed my nerves).  I pulled up almost two sections of the roof myself, and then started on the nails.

By noon, the heat was scorching, but we all kept on going.  We were doing this for a mother and her kids.  This was the least we could do.  As we listened to the cool sounds on the radio, and occasionally stopped for a cool drink and to see the soccer players working hard across the street, there was nothing to complain about.  We had only grateful thoughts:  that we are blessed with a roof over our own heads, and that we have the strength and the opportunity to help build someone else's roof.

For those of us, who carried the shingles to the dumpster without a long - sleeved shirt, the result was small pieces of glass pierced your skin (harmless).  I came home to find ten nails in the bottom of my sneakers.  However, as I pulled each one out with a hammer, I was reminded of The One whose hands were pierced with nails, just for me.  He gave Himself just for me (and you)!  What a sacrifice!

It was a reminder that this won't be the first nor the last time, I am on the roof.  I can't wait!

Kelly Chapman

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