Elaine is a Beloved In The Desert member, which is the newest program in the Episcopal Service Corp. It is a program in which young adults spend an entire year of intentional living, service, and prayer. Wanting to gain new life experiences, Elaine was excited to serve others in a way that she has not before, and Habitat for Humanity was the perfect platform.
Elaine describes how from a very young age she was brought up with the idea that it is her responsibility to build a bridge from her church to the community.
“People say all the time, ‘I want to make a difference,’ but a lot of the time they don’t know how. And a lot of people doubt in their ability to make a difference, I think,” Elaine says. “But with Habitat, you literally see your difference. Because your difference is made up of you hammering in a nail, and then you get to meet the homebuyer who is going to live in that house in which you just put that nail in.”
Elaine serves as the Volunteer Resources Assistant in the volunteer department at Habitat for Humanity Tucson. Her tasks involve all things volunteer such as outreach, retention, and volunteer recruitment. You can also find Elaine on build sites working side-by-side with volunteers. She understands her service as an extension of her faith, to extend love to her community in the form of action.
“Yes, we will worship on Sunday morning, and we worship passionately and proudly! But the idea of service to others…that is why we are here,” she says. “It’s our job to walk out of our churches and walk into the community and to help others. I don’t think it’s the other way around.”
Elaine has worked on various builds that has had a lasting impact on her. She describes working on A Brush With Kindness project as a profound experience, as she could feel the gratitude of homeowner Marikay. She witnessed how applying a few coats of paint to the exterior of a home could mean so much to someone. Elaine was also a part of World Habitat Day 2019, where she was able to see the walls being raised on the first homes in Carters Court by many of the volunteers she has gotten to know.
“Jesus was a carpenter. The parallel has not been lost on me! He was a carpenter. What does that mean? He built things! But what did he also build? He also built the idea of universal love and universal goodness. And how it is our responsibility to build that,” she states.
“I love that parallel because I feel that Habitat is allowing me to think creatively, innovatively, and differently about what it looks like to build and produce love. And what it looks like once you produce it, to then how to apply it and how to spread it.”
Elaine feels inspired by her experience at Habitat for Humanity Tucson and is ready to take her newfound knowledge and spread it to her future ministry.
Habitat Tucson Volunteer Manager Gina Hansen has this to say about Elaine, “Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you. Elaine has been a loyal, dependable, passionate and inspirational team member to us all at Habitat. We will miss her very much and may she always be proud of the work she did, the person she is, and the difference she has made.”