Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” 

As we enter the month of December, which is often referred to as the season of giving and, unfortunately, one of the most stressful times of the year, maybe it’s time we focus on giving a different kind of gift. 

Most of us think of giving our friends and family individual gifts, but Picasso refers to the gift of his talent, which is meant to be shared with others. You may think, “I’m not an artist,” and that’s okay. We all have talents that can be shared to make our communities better. 

At Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we are grateful for the talents our volunteers share with us every day. From our Board of Advisors, committee members, and event planners to our volunteers working on the job site and in our ReStores. Together, they have donated over 140,000 hours to help us give more than 500 families the gift of a Home. 

Linda Bedolla and her daughterThe families in Habitat’s program work alongside our volunteers to build their homes and the homes of their neighbors. Once they begin paying a mortgage on their new home, part of their mortgage funds the construction of homes for future Habitat homeowners. Therefore giving families the opportunity to give the gift of Homeownership to others. 

Do you remember using the key to open the door to your first home? The pride you felt in owning something you worked hard for? Or how about the excitement you felt thinking about all of the memories you would make and the celebrations to come?

Now think about how you would feel if, despite working hard every day, you realized that you would never be able to own your home – hopeless and defeated because you couldn’t provide a safe, healthy environment for your kids to grow up and thrive. That is precisely how Linda Bedolla felt.

Linda had been dreaming of buying her own home, but she could not find anything in her price range. She and her daughter had no choice but to share a bedroom in her mother’s small, one-bathroom home with five other people. Linda thought she would never have the opportunity to buy a place of her own until a friend told her about Habitat.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County will build 20 affordable homes in the next year, along with completing various Neighborhood Revitalization and Critical Home Repair projects across Chester County. These new and revived homes create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, attract employers, increase consumer spending and government revenues, and lower the risk of foreclosure, essentially giving the gifts of transformative benefits to families and resiliency in communities. 

This December, consider giving a different kind of gift. Whether volunteering, donating in honor, or in memory of someone to a local shelter or cause close to your heart, let’s all find “our gift and give it away.” Make a donation today.