Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"One. Two. Three. LIFT!"


"One. Two. Three. LIFT!"
On July 16, on an expertly prepared site ready for volunteers, hammers were in full swing building walls for a brand new Habitat for Humanity raised ranch under construction in Granby, CT. 

On Habitat site supervisor Stan's count, -- "One. Two. Three. LIFT!" -- and undaunted by the stifling heat and humidity, a volunteer crew of twelve from Granby's First Congregational and South Congregational churches raised the home's first wall. 

This house is Hartford Habitat's first rural build. Granby's town leadership is fully supportive. That's the way it is in Granby, my hometown.

First Congregational and South Congregational Crew 

Just before lunch break First Church member Ruth Rosebrooks, retired and revered Granby school teacher, whose generous long-time community volunteering includes stints with Habitat, paid the crew a visit to offer her heartfelt encouragement. She hammered home the first wall's final nails before we lifted it place.

Ruth Rosebrooks hitting the nail square on the head, as always.
The Granby Habitat house is now in full construction mode. The Granby homeowners-to-be are faithfully working to complete their construction sweat equity. Volunteer construction crews are being scheduled for the rest of the year offering their time and sweat in partnership.

Building affordable housing is not a heavy lift when a community lifts together.

"One. Two. Three. LIFT!"


Don Shaw, Jr.
Writer and Editor
RedTruckStonecatcher.com

Photos by Don Shaw, Jr.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Indifference is Dangerous




Indifference is dangerous. 

Elie Wiesel's comments on the danger of indifference are timeless. His words are a powerful reminder of the evil of indifference. His words challenge our conscience to move from indifference to awareness and action, to take a stand. You can hear them in The Connecticut Forum's July 8, 2016, Video of the Week

History is replete with our inhumanity, our dark side, which all to often rises up targeting those whom we view as the other, the stranger, the not-of-my-kind. The other, the stranger, the not-of-my-kind are real people, not abstractions. Each has a story. A personal story of a real life, filled the with the kinds of hopes and dreams most of us share in wanting to be accepted, and allowed to live in peace and pursue a purposeful life.

Wiesel knew the power of indifference. He knew the power of taking a stand against indifference. He lived through oppression aided by indifference. He survived oppression because many people spoke out, rejected the indifference of neutrality, and took a stand to fight oppression. We should take care to heed Wiesel's admonition. 

As quoted by the Forum from Wiesel's December 10, 1986, Nobel Prize acceptance speech

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe."
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel died on July 2, 2016.  

Indifference is dangerous.


Don Shaw, Jr.
Writer and Editor
RedTruckStonecatcher.com