Guest Blogger Series/GSM Fridays – Doing Good in the Neighborhood

Alex is a first year MBA emphasizing in Technology Management.  Her professional interests include energy efficiency, sustainability and climate change.  When she’s not busy being a student, she enjoys running half marathons and staying active, wine tasting, traveling, Bravo TV, and browsing Pinterest for recipes and home improvement projects.

Doing Good in the Neighborhood

One of the perks of being an MBA student at the GSM is that we have every Friday off from class. That obviously means that we sleep in, go to the gym, and hang out with our friends every Friday!  In reality, a group of us from Challenge 4 Charity (C4C) took last Friday off from doing Statistics 2 homework and our multitude of group projects to give back to the community. We volunteered with the local Habitat for Humanity to lend our hands to building a house in Sacramento.

I have always wanted to volunteer with Habitat, since they have a wonderful mission of making safe housing accessible to everyone. Once we arrived at 7:30am on a chilly Friday morning, we learned that we’d be installing the landscaping for a duplex had to be ready for the new homeowners in 6 days.  The final touches were very important to meet the deadline!  Even more exciting, this was the 100th house to be built by the Sacramento Habitat for Humanity and a special dedication ceremony is scheduled for next weekend.

So, the 9 of us GSM’ers got to work planning trees and plants around the home. Our project leader mentioned to us how important it was for this to get done – the previous volunteer group had given up the previous day due to the hard working conditions! To his surprise, we were able to plant everything before lunch, thanks to our great teamwork.  We had fun using a jackhammer to loosen up lime-treated dirt, and shoveling holes to plant the beautiful trees. The drought-tolerant landscaping was designed by a local landscape architect – a must for California’s recent dry conditions! After lunch, we returned to install the drip irrigation and paint wooden beams for the outside awning. Before we knew it, the working day was over. The project leader said he was amazed with our progress and that we were the best volunteer group of the week! And he shout it out on Twitter!

After recovering from the heavy lifting, we are back to the grind and looking forward to the next volunteer activity. I’ve learned that it’s important to make time for activities that re-energize you, and this was definitely one of them. It was a welcome break from Winter Quarter, and a chance to connect with my fellow classmates. It feels great to be a part of the building process for a home that will mean so much to a local family. We can’t wait to volunteer again and learn some more HGTV skills!