HABITAT: Hard hats and fruit bats

Here at Habitat, we enjoy the support, talent – and elbow grease – of a top notch band of volunteers, who serve in such diverse capacities as – construction crews (a Habitat staple), family support, job site snack providers, Home Center workers, members of several event committees, warehouse miscellaneous and, of course, as members of our Board of Directors (BOD) and our Board of Advisors (BOA).

Among these wonderful folks is a pal of mine, Sue Croom, a high-energy dynamo and current BOD member. As big a task as that, alone, certainly is, it’s by no means the only Habitat hat she wears. For several years now, Sue’s led our nationally acclaimed Women Build team and was even named Habitat International Volunteer of the Year a few years back. Having worked on a construction team with her (our Global Village trip to the Dominican Republic) I can tell you that she, and the whole WB crew, can do pretty much any construction-related task there is. Without sacrificing any femininity. In fact, the hard hats and tool belts these gals use are – pink. Yep. Just as sturdy and protective as the ubiquitous yellow hardhats and just as useful as those boring tan tool belts but waa-aay cooler. Rock on, ladies!

One of the most charming children’s books I have come across in recent years has got to be one about a little fruit bat named Stella Luna. Great story, beautiful illustrations, one grown-ups shouldn’t mind reading and re-reading. I’ve bought so many copies for friends and family with newly arrived little ones that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vero Beach Book Center keeps a stash of them under their check-out desk with my name on them. The first few editions came with a little stuffed animal fruit bat with Velcro feet so you could hang it, batlike, upside down from a handy branch in your house. Alas, tho, in recent years, possibly due to the rising cost of fluffy stuffing resulting from the economic downturn, the books no longer come with their own fruit bat. The story is still fabulous, however, right up there with my absolutely favorite, the original Winnie the Pooh books (the pre-Disney versions). Just picture little Stella Luna toppling out of her nest and being rescued by a family of birds. She gets in trouble with the mother bird when she teaches her baby bird brothers and sisters how to hang from branches upside down, by their feet.

Speaking of reading – One of the coolest things we do here at Habitat is to support the children of Habitat homeowners through after-school programs and college preparation. We firmly believe that a good education is one of the very most important ways we can help these kids reach their potential and become success adults.

Have a good one.

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