Monday, April 29, 2013
I have been involved in the construction industry for over 35 years. In those 35 years been project manager or foreman on hospitals, sports complexes, shopping malls, schools and many other commercial buildings. Not to mention several hundred Habitat for Humanity homes. I have been in PM on awarding State and National projects as well.
Yesterday, I was presented with a framed print of a soaring eagle by one of the best young men I know and Eagle Scout Curtis Joseph at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I was a Project Coach on Curtis’s Eagle project building a storage barn at Bishop Fenwick High School for their spring sports equipment in. Curtis’s designed the barn, raised the money to pay for the materials, he was the project leader, and worked hard to make sure all of us built it to his expectations.
My part of this project was a few phone calls and 4 or 5 days out of my life. I told Beth Yauch, Ron Joseph, and Curtis, that being part of this project was the greatest things that have been part of in my construction career.
Friends I share this with you today to challenge you to step up and give some of your time and talents to help or serve someone. Not every Boy Scout will be an Eagle Scout but everyone needs a mentor/coach and you all have talents to share.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A bit of a cheater blog, I was sent this link and wanted to share it to all the dog and Military lovers out there. One picture I noticed was a dog and his handler both wearing gas mask.
This was posted for fun as well as I am sure the person who created it intended. But Military dogs are warriors and defenders of our country. You rarely hear of dogs that are killed in action, but they truly are heroes sniffing out IED and leading our troops.
Pray for our troops and their four legged companions to be safe so we can sleep safely at night.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
How to Observe Memorial Day
by The Boot Campaign on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 7:52pm
For most Americans, the three-day Memorial Day Weekend is a marker of the beginning of summer, a day to enjoy time outside with family, friends and food from the grill. Let's remember how this holiday, the last Monday of May, began and why.
Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen American soldiers who died defending our country and our freedoms. It began at the close of the Civil War to honor the dead soldiers from both Union and Confederate armies and was originally called "Decoration Day."
By 1865 the practice of decorating soldiers' graves had become widespread in the North. The first known observance was in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter. In 1882, the name of Decoration Day was formally changed to Memorial Day in memory and honor of those who gave their lives fighting for a common cause - America.
May 30th was the original date chosen because no battles of the civil war were fought on this day. Since 1971, Memorial day has been celebrated on the last Monday of May, creating a three-day weekend which may have contributed to the loss of meaning of this solemn holiday.
This year, do something tangible to pause and remember those who have fallen in battle for our country. Some ideas for how to observe Memorial Day include:
Fly the US Flag at half-staff until noon.
Visit a cemetery, placing flowers or flags on the graves of fallen veterans.
Visit a memorial
Pause at 3:00 pm local time to join in the National Moment of Remembrance.
Watch the National Memorial Day Concert, performed on the West Lawn of the Capitol and broadcast on PBS.
Monday, March 21, 2011
As most you know I work for our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, over the years we have built two hundred homes and I had a part in almost 100 of those. We get out land from various resources, like donated, donated with a house on it, tax sales, and buying lots out right. Late last year I accepted a donation of a lot from a bank, this was a foreclosure. The house was in a really nice neighborhood however the past owner did not take care of the home. When I assessed the property I deemed it not suitable for rehab. This house was built in 1973.
Habitat selects their families based on three criteria, basically ability to pay, currently living in substandard housing, and willingness to partner. The family that selected this home was selected over three years ago and they were wanting a house in the same school district that they currently live with their six boys. When I first met the family they were so gracious that they were able to have this lot for their home. They really are an awesome family.
Back to the house, today we demolished the old house; it was a block party on the street. The neighbors came out in force to watch the giant track hoe take the house to the ground and collapse it into the basement. No less than 15 people stopped over and thanked us for cleaning up their neighborhood and welcomed Habitat and the family. We had so many offers to provide help building the new house, providing lunch to the volunteers, and parking in their driveways. I really felt good about today. We are not only serving a family in need but a neighborhood and community in need. I love my job.
In all my years I have had over 30 homes demolished and been at everyone to insure they go okay and to field any questions about Habitat. Today was no different except I took my assistant and our intern whom neither watched a house be torn down. They were amazed and brought to my attention that 45 minutes after we started the entire house was down and crushed into the basement. Now that really hit me. It takes us 20 weeks from start to finish build a house at the most, no less and 40 different deliveries of materials, and several inspections. Today in 45 minutes it all came down, tomorrow 3 dumpsters will haul it all away. There will be no inspections or pats on the back for a fine job.
That is kind of sad in one way, that a family’s dream of homeownership was reduced to trash in a matter minutes. However today a family’s dream came true seeing this as the start of their new home, I was touched to see the mom and the oldest son (15) drop to their knees and pray for their family, for the Habitat volunteers, and for the family that lost this home.
My moral to this is of course God hears us, just not a quick as we would like him too. But also, a house is nothing more than rubble if we don’t bring love in to it. One of my favorite bible verses is 1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it.
I am proud to be a master builder! When we build a home and dedicate it we give the family, a homeowners manual and encourage them to use it every day. We are all master builders if you don’t believe that open up your homeowner manual and start reading. Your homeowner’s manual is also referred to your manual to life or the Holy Bible.
Good luck to everyone with your goals, give your heart and prayers to others, take time to give thanks for being alive, pray for our servicemen and women, our fire fighter and police officers, to the people in Japan, and Libya.
less than 45 minutes later
Sunday, March 06, 2011
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me but that is good better to be busy than idle. I my last blog I was talking about packing for a trip and packing for life. Some of you know that I work for Habitat for Humanity and some know that I went on a mission trip to El Salvador. With my job I build homes every day for people in need, whether I am drawing house plans, estimating the cost, talking to a donor, or pounding nails, that in itself to cool. I am blessed to have a job that I love and that I can not only work for but volunteer for. I am also blessed to have a wife that shares me with habitat and the family’s we serve. Some weeks between work and volunteering I hit over 80 hours doing Habitat. I not am patting myself on the back I only pointing out that when you love what you, love helping others, and are loved hours and days go on forever. This brings up a song that I like that has the same theme, “The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends. The song has nothing to do about serving others but the message is the same. No matter what happens today, tomorrow will come and if you’re not here the day just continues on. My hope is someday when I step aside that someone comes in and has the same commitment and support that I have for Habitats mission and life’s mission.
With that, I had a great time in El Salvador for nine days. We worked on two homes for five of those days. Building a home in El Salvador is the same as here, they have four exterior walls, a roof, and a couple of rooms on the inside. I really am making light of their construction but I will not bore you with construction details. At the end of our week, we took two foundations and created two homes that are built to with stand earthquakes and hurricanes. Both were very simple design and about 600 square feet. When we arrived they told us that it would take six weeks to build the homes, when we left they said they would be completed in about two more weeks. Doing the math we gained three weeks in five days. On Wednesday, their construction manager and I were talking “CM to CM”, and I said what is up with us gaining all this time on these homes. He told me that based on past teams they set this schedule and that they had no idea that we where a hard working team that did not slow down on the second day like most teams do. We did more work on the second day than the first. Not bad when you consider when we left Cincinnati it was 15 degrees and the week we worked on site the average temperature was 102 degrees.
Lessons learned on from this part of my El Salvador trip
Water is more your friend in El Salvador at 100 degrees than here at 14 degrees
If you don’t love your job try too, it makes your day go faster and the paychecks keep coming
Inspire yourself to succeed no matter what the conditions or challenges
Share your talents with someone else freely the reward big and small will come
My next blog will be about my humbling experiences and how gracious we should be for what we have.
If you want to see more pictures from my trip visit www.facebook.com/album.php?id=138162
I think that is open that everyone can see it without being my friend, but if you want to friend me I am at www.facebook.com/wilkersonr
At the end of day two
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