HABITAT: Party for volunteers not best time for diet

You probably already knew this but – the day you have a big party and everyone brings their favorite dish might not be the best time to start a diet.

Unless you don’t mind abysmal failure. Every year, we here at Habitat put on a pretty big banquet and awards night event for all of our fabulous volunteers (without whom we could accomplish, pretty much, nothing.) For the past three years, after a really great sit-down meal and a special awards ceremony, we provide entertainment in the form of a sort-of musical review, the cast consisting mostly of those staffers who were not fast enough to escape to Mexico or slip out the back way when they saw the director approaching.

Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Actually they were all very gracious and willing (in varying degrees) and the show was a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and seemed appreciated by our auditorium-full of volunteers. SO – a week or so after the show we have a cast party – and that is where the Diet Seas got turbulent. I had recently noticed, while putting on my jeans, the beginnings of the Dreaded Muffin Top, and quickly shifted into Diet Mode. Things were going fairly well for the first day. Until the party.

Since it was at my place, I not only trounced my diet during the party itself, but finished the job by blowing it to smithereens the next day, when I faced – THE LEFTOVERS.

I’m fairly sure that a big piece of divine, moist, sugar laden cake can be rendered harmless if it is cut into teeny pieces, right? And surely a mere two cups of broccoli salad with sunflower seeds, raisins and apples is practically calorie-free. Same with the mayo drenched slaw and creamy potato salad. And I don’t even want to think about that bowl of nuts on the coffee table.

So, Sunday night, there I was, with, like, a dozen empty plastic containers in the sink, riddled with guilt, bouncing about in front of the TV to an old (very old) video tape of Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. I swear. If you’ve been over to our office or to the ever-awesome Home Center, you’ve probably noticed that our new building is looking more complete every day. Last week, with one of our construction foreman steadying the ladder, I (slowly) climbed up, camera in hand, to see what was happening on the roof and grab a few pix. I think there is only one (maybe two) more layers to go and the roof will be done.

Today, the air conditioning guys are inside, laying out the ductwork. And I’m clicking away all over the place. I’m going through Double A batts at a pretty rapid rate, and we will sure have a complete (huge) photo record of the construction. This is why we do what we do: with all the wonderful projects and impressive statistics we are so justifiably proud of at local, national and global levels, the heart of Habitat boils down to the success of a single family, a single individual.

Seeing someone realize his or her potential, seeing them dig in and, with determination, very hard work and that Hand Up that Habitat is known for, succeed in their endeavor, accomplish things they never, ever imagined they could do.

THAT is our heartbeat.

Recently, a proud mom shared with us that her son had recently graduated from college with a degree in aerospace engineering and had been hired by an area nuclear power plant. When he was only a toddler, his mom had taken him and his sisters and fled from an abusive situation. A friend told her about Habitat and, although skeptical, she made the contact, was accepted into the program and made it successfully through.

The safe and secure home she established for her family allowed all her children to blossom. Building simple, decent homes WITH (and that “with” is key) qualified families in need is what Habitat does and why we are blessed with so many people who believe in our cause and who are willing to support it in so many ways.

Sam Baita, Public RelationsIndian River Habitat for Humanity 772.562.9860 X220[email protected]

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