The Process of Becoming a Skilled Volunteer through Cornerstone Training

Guest blog by Cornerstone Graduate: Kenneth Tan

I first heard about Habitat for Humanity on a volunteer site. I tried to sign up for some of their volunteer opportunities, but Saturdays were almost always full unless you were a 'skilled' volunteer. I figured that if I wanted to build, it would be smart to become classified as a 'skilled' volunteer. So, I signed up for the Cornerstone Training to build my set of skills.

When I first saw our instructor, Jay's, training video, I was a bit apprehensive. In the video he is in shorts, working in his garage, all while filming an instruction video on construction. Hmmmmm...

Then came the first day of class. I was looking forward (NOT!) to meeting Jay. Actually, in all honesty, I was a bit scared. I always thought construction guys were rough and rugged, but this guy was nice and so were the rest of the people there. The instructors were always available for questions, or just for support. Students ranged from novices to some who already had construction experience. Everyone was so driven that nobody wanted to put their hammers down. The instructors had to force us to take breaks.

Two days a week, for seven weeks - we toiled and we sweat while building mini-houses. Each day, I learned something new and became more confident in my skills. It was quite an accomplishment to see the four walls (technically, three) go up.

At the end of the seven week training I had mixed feelings. Part of me was relieved that it was over and that I no longer had to drive an hour each night to attend class. But, part of me was also sad that it was over. I met some really nice people that have inspired me to do more.

I highly encourage Habitat volunteers to attend the training as it adds value to your time while working onsite.  Plus, you will get to volunteer more often on Saturdays!

Read another blog by a Cornerstone Graduate here.

Labels: , , , , ,