“Make sure you end it here, on the stud,” said Flo Jonas to a small group of volunteers working recently on a home sponsored by the South Texas Lutheran Cluster.
Stopping to survey the work being done before moving on to another group of volunteers, Jonas moved about the Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio construction site at Coleman Ridge as if she is a seasoned HFHSA employee, when in fact she is a volunteer with a few years of construction knowledge learned through her own “do it yourself projects.”
“I’ve just had houses of my own and fixed them up,” Jonas said, explaining she’s also managed rental properties. “In fact, that’s how I started here.”
Earlier this year, Jonas passed by HFHSA’s current community while on the way to work on a friend’s home. She noticed the Habitat construction site.
“I said, ‘is that Habitat,’” she explained. She immediately stopped and asked if she could volunteer. That was in July. She has volunteered most weekends since, turning what could be a bad time for her into a good experience.
“I enjoy helping others and volunteering whenever possible. I recently was let go from my job of 25 years, so what better way of feeling like I am accomplishing something in life but to help others and to see the progress we are making and the excitement in the eyes of the family members we are helping,” she said.
Helping others and the Habitat families is what keeps her coming back.
“I have met several owners over the past few weeks; they are willing to learn the task at hand and to pitch right in. You can see the pride in their faces, just knowing that they helped to build their dream homes. I have worked on the front porch railing with one home owner and I could see the pride shining in the eyes. It gives one a feeling that goes way beyond words,” she said.
“I think what Habitat does for the community is outstanding. The always positive attitude and the impeccable professionalism is impressive. It has provided a dream come true for so many in our community, who might not be able to afford the American dream.”
Jonas, who has volunteered for various organizations throughout her life, has also gotten her roommate involved. Although unable to do the physical labor, her roommate has provided meals on the construction site on more than one occasion. Jonas wants to encourage others to volunteers.
“I would tell others to volunteer one day once in a while. One day out of your life is nothing, but what it can mean to others in the community is immeasurable. I would like to encourage everyone to come and help; there is a job for everyone. No job is too small,” she said. “Get involved either by building or bringing out a meal.”
To volunteer for HFHSA, call Volunteer Services at 210-223-5203 or read more at HERE.