Dennis Gottman was a casual volunteer for several years, but in the last two or three years, he has been spending many of his Saturdays at our construction sites.
“What keeps me coming back is meeting the homeowners,” he said. In his first few years of volunteering, he didn’t get many chances to work alongside the people who would be occupying the houses he was building. “Now, I’m coming around often enough to get to know the families, as well as the staff and the other regulars.”
Dennis Gottman is an engineer by trade and he believes the project-driven nature of engineering is what motivates so many current and retired engineers to volunteer at our construction sites. “I’m amazed at the number of people I’ve come across at different sites who are people I sort of knew at work,” he said. To his mind, construction is a great way for retired engineers “to keep that project feel going.”
Dennis’s favorite part of the construction process is framing. “At the very beginning, there’s nothing perceivable, and then at the end of the day, there are walls.”
In addition to increasing his commitment to Habitat, Dennis has also started devoting more of his time to Amor Ministries, a San Diego-based organization that sponsors home-building trips to Mexico. The houses he builds there—two-room structures with no electricity or plumbing—are simpler than the ones we construct in Los Angeles. But the opportunity to work alongside people as they create a decent home for themselves is just as rewarding.
If you are interested in volunteering with Habitat LA, contact Caitlin Rose, Associate Director of Volunteer Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 424-246-3189, or click here.