Right Back At Ya'!

Workin' hard at Ms. Roycelin's

Working in not-for-profit construction brings many challenges and frustrations, but every so often something happens to remind us why we’re here. I had one of those moments recently while working at Roycelin and Joycelin Clark’s house. Like many New Orleanians the Clarks occasionally enjoy an afternoon sitting on the porch, chatting with neighbors and watching the grandkids tricycle up and down the sidewalk. One afternoon as we were working on the house we moved the Clarks’ bench from the porch onto the sidewalk so we could paint the front wall. When Ms. Roycelin came outside that afternoon she sat on the bench facing the house so she could see us working while she kept an eye on her grandson. One of the neighbors called out from across the street, “You got yourself a front row seat!” Ms. Roycelin responded, “Yes, we’re watching our blessing!”

Braving the scaffolding
It goes without saying that this meant a lot to me, as it did to any of the volunteers who heard it. We don’t necessarily need to hear homeowners express gratitude but a thank-you can go a long way towards making us feel good about our work. I know a lot of us also feel grateful for the opportunity to be part of something larger than ourselves. I’ve witnessed exchanges in which a homeowner says thank-you and volunteers respond, “No, thank you!” We’ve had some difficult homeowners in the past, but the ones like Ms. Roycelin are a pleasure to work with. They are our  blessing!

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