Connecting the Pieces

Yard Water Drainage
April 14, 2016
4.23.16 Go: Westwood – Westwood Neighborhood
April 28, 2016

Connecting the Pieces

By Patafisik (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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We all enjoy doing puzzles. There is a satisfaction in solving the mystery of putting the puzzle pieces together. The beauty of the finished product, after all the pieces are connected, is very rewarding because you can finally see the picture the puzzle displays. In many ways, that is exactly what Extreme Community Makeover does. ECM brings people and resources together to connect the pieces, building up neighborhoods and communities to display a beautiful picture of transformation.

Eric and LindaIf you were to ask volunteers Eric and Linda Hofschire, what they love most about Extreme Community Makeover, it would be the connecting part. Eric works on the Projects Team and Linda works the Follow-up Team, both are volunteer opportunities under the Extreme Teams.

“Having lots of options for volunteering is exactly why ECM was so appealing to us,” expresses Linda. She started out volunteering on the Photography Team, as the Team Leader. This year, Linda will be volunteering on the Follow-up Team. Eric thoroughly enjoys volunteering on the Projects Team, as he gets to work with his hands and he enjoys the variety of different projects.

The couple is thankful for all the diverse volunteer options Extreme Community Makeover offers. This way, they can use their different talents and they don’t have to look for a another nonprofit to utilize their diverse skills and interests. Ultimately, this is what sealed their decision to work with ECM on a long-term basis.

ECM’s mission is to not just fix things, but to engage the residents and volunteers to build up communities by connecting them to resources and connecting people to people. This is a huge motivation for both Eric and Linda. “I work at the 21st Century Library and part of my job there is to connect people to resources. Likewise, being on the Follow-up Team, I can connect the residents to resources and connect the community to people so that their neighborhoods can grow in a positive way.”

In the same way, Eric enjoys connecting. “Projects are projects. However, if you can connect people with each other or with other services, then this makes a long-lasting impact. This is the reason why Extreme Community Makeover is so great,” explains Eric. Eric is a teacher and recently his students volunteered. The student government group had a blast!

It is the heart of ECM to connect volunteers with residents, residents with residents, volunteers with volunteers, and community organizations with other community organizations – with the combined purpose of transforming an entire neighborhood. When all of these important pieces come together, it displays a dynamic, healthy, thriving community. It’s a beautiful picture!