"House Lead" uses training skills to teach volunteers how to build a Habitat house

September 22, 2015

lisa Lisa Hughet spent more than two decades conducting corporate and sales training for a large technology company and a multi-national pharmaceutical company. Now she spends her free time training Habitat volunteers to swing a hammer and use a caulk gun.

Hughet first got involved several years ago when her job included coordinating corporate funding and lining up company volunteers to work on Habitat houses. She enjoyed this role, but it was when she found herself personally working on a Habitat house that she realized she was hooked. Now she volunteers as a Habitat construction leader and sees things at every house she works on that inspires her.

"It's still a surprise and a delight each time I see a family receive the keys to their new house," says Hughet. "In many cases they've never had a place of their own, but we're helping them achieve their dreams with each nail we hammer." She recalls one family in which the children were particularly excited - and surprised - at the prospect of having new bedrooms. The youngest, a girl of about five, was even more surprised when her mom asked her what color she'd like her new bedroom to be. Her answer was, "I want it to be Frozen," meaning one of the bright blue hues associated with the popular children's movie.

Hughet is currently working on the first of two "Women Build" houses, which is a home that is constructed by a primarily female volunteer crew. "There's always a wonderful team spirit when you build a Habitat house, even if it's your first day joining a construction crew," says Hughet, "and there was a unique energy and camaraderie among our all-female crew."

For Hughet, the ability to teach volunteers new skills while also making dreams come true for new homeowners is double rewarding, and she envisions herself continuing to do this for quite some time. For her, it's a chance to help build houses and dreams, one nail at a time.

Written by: Bradd Pavur