Last Saturday the Valley Sun was invited to go on a Habitour with the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. The tour included two construction sites and a visit with a family that received a life- changing chance to be a homeowner.
The tour began at Habitat’s office in Pasadena on North Fair Oaks. The office is full of construction equipment including paint, doors, appliances and tools among other items that have been donated for sale.
“Construction people love this place,” said Sonja Yates, executive director of SGV Habitat. Sales generated assist with Habitat’s efforts.
Yates began the tour with a DVD that was produced thanks to donations and guidance from Don Goodman, president of Walt Disney’s Imagineering. The informational film was hosted by Harrison Ford and included volunteers, many from La Cañada including Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, describing what Habitat gives to others and how it can make a difference.
“It is a hand up, not a hand out,” Portantino said.
“They don’t just build homes, they change lives,” said Ford.
The tour then continued to Glendale where a construction site near Palmer Avenue and La Boice. Several volunteers had been working the site since early morning including members of the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge, including Levent Akbarut. At a recent meeting the ICLCF invited several members of the community to the Roger Barkley Community Center to speak to their group on a variety of outreach programs. Emily Mullranin from SGV Habitat spoke at that meeting and inspired several members to take a Habitour of their own. Last weekend was the first time members joined with other volunteers to work side by side to build a home. It is not an easy job; volunteers work at hammering nails, dry walling, painting and digging holes for plumbing.
“We have a manager help guide them,” Yates said.
“This is what happens when you work in an office,” Akbarut said, showing his blister filled hands.
Blisters aside, the ICLCF will be returning to help with SGV Habitat at the end of June.
To donate or volunteer with the SGV Habitat for Humanity go online towww.sgvhabitat.org or call 626-792 3838.