We are just a week away from the 2017 Build-A-Thon! While you get excited for the big event, our amazing site crew is doing the same. Claire Paquin, one of your Crew Leaders, can’t wait to get back on the construction site and to meet all of you.
Claire was a fixture on the Habitat construction site as an AmeriCorps service member, and she says, “Ever since my AmeriCorps term ended, I have missed it every day! Not only was I getting to be a part of such an incredible, selfless team, but I was outside in the sunshine every day! I can’t wait to be back in the sun with my tool belt, some sunscreen, and a whole lot of laughter at this year’s Build-A-Thon.”
And laughter is basically a guarantee if you’re working with Claire, who is always “all ears for a good joke,” and can’t wait for some silly games at lunchtime. As a person who enjoys a good comedy show in her spare time, Claire loves to lead “an organized, task-driven day with volunteers, all the while making it the most fun.” While Claire has worked with volunteers with all levels of expertise, she still remembers starting her AmeriCorps term with zero construction experience, so she has a soft spot for novices: “Let’s turn that ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ frown upside down and make it a day you’ll remember!”
She might be always game for a giggle, but for Claire, Habitat for Humanity’s work is serious business. “Working with Habitat for Humanity was an entirely life-changing experience,” she says. “I feel so incredibly lucky to have had such an opportunity.” And Build-A-Thon in particular is an incredibly special part of the Habitat experience for Claire.
“Working with volunteers is such a unique experience,” she says. “Watching a group of people work side by side for the greater good is outstanding – especially when it involves something they’ve never done before, thought they’d never do, or find challenging!"
She says she is “thrilled to get back to swinging a hammer (hopefully not at any of my fingers),” but also the opportunity to work with all the Build-A-Thon volunteers. “Working with volunteers is such a unique experience,” she says. “Watching a group of people work side by side for the greater good is outstanding – especially when it involves something they’ve never done before, thought they’d never do, or find challenging! To see volunteers put their sweat (and sometimes tears!) into the bettering of someone else’s future is awesome.”
Build-A-Thon is a special personal memory for Claire as well. Her family is important to her (she lists finding reasons to FaceTime her mom among her hobbies), and she was sorry to miss her younger sister’s 17th birthday as she was working at last year’s Build-A-Thon. Her sister felt the love, though, as Claire gathered all crew, staff, and volunteers around to shout an enthusiastic Happy Birthday! “It made my entire day,” Claire says.
As we get closer to Build-A-Thon 2017, Claire can’t wait to make more memories at this year’s event. We’re sure it’ll be an event for you to remember as well!