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Valentine’s Day Connections at Habitat

Feb. 14, 2017

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A Habitat Love Connection

Laura and Mike never dreamed how much their lives would be impacted when they each signed up to build Habitat homes through the AmeriCorps program.   It was through this shared experience that they met, fell in love, and are now married.

Laura and Mike met for the first time a few days before their AmeriCorps term officially started at a welcome barbeque.  “We talked a lot at that first barbeque, mostly about the fact that we were both Midwesterners, about what it was like to serve with Habitat, and how great it was to live in Denver,” shared Laura.

Over the course of the next year, Mike and Laura’s relationship grew as they worked side-by-side building Habitat homes. “During one of the first weeks, Mike and I got a chance to work together on a site during a slower day. I remember that one of us measured something wrong and we had to redo the chalk line a couple of times. I am sure that it was me who made the mistake, Mike usually gets that stuff right the first time,” Laura jokes. “But I remember how patient he was when we were working through that problem, trying to get our measurement exactly right so that he could create the best possible product for Habitat’s homeowners.”

“One of the things that Mike and I both love about working with Habitat is the ability to create something with your own hands. I think this shared set of experiences in service and community set the foundation for our relationship.”

Years later, Laura and Mike still feel a special connection to Habitat’s work and try to stay involved as often as possible. “We have come back to build on Habitat sites with friends and family several times since our AmeriCorps years,” shares Laura. “In fact, we kicked off our wedding week with family and friends volunteering on a Habitat site in Denver, both as a nod to the way we met and to share the experience with our families.”

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A Special Wedding Anniversary

Lydia and Mitch first met in 2004 while they were volunteering for the Appalachia Service Project in Kentucky.  Their passion for volunteering and giving back to their community created a natural way for them to spend lots of time together.  After getting married in 2010, Lydia and Mitch decided to move to Denver where they spent the next two years doing AmeriCorps service programs.

During their second year of AmeriCorps, Lydia and Mitch once again found themselves working closely together at Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.  Lydia supported the Family Services department, while Mitch built homes on the construction team.  Coincidentally, the AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon that year fell on the same date as Lydia and Mitch’s 2nd wedding anniversary.

“We had fun listening to music while doing things like installing hardware for doors, putting in fixtures, endless touch up paint,” shared Lydia. “We put in many long hours side-by-side on Habitat homes.”

Mitch went on to run Habitat’s Critical Home Repair program until 2014, and Lydia works for mpowered, which collaborates with Habitat to provide financial coaching for partner families.  Both Mitch and Lydia still enjoy the special experiences they share together at Habitat events.

“Mitch and I especially enjoy spending time with Habitat families that we mutually know,” shares Lydia. “We love going to home dedications together to celebrate with the homeowners.”

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