Editor’s note: Crew leader Cary Taft generously offered to write his own story – and give some reasons to become a crew leader. Here’s what Cary had to say:

Hey, my name is Cary. I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on being a Crew Leader here at Habitat Orlando & Osceola. I am a 63-year-old semi-retired, overweight and underpaid guy with a few health issues and a need for JOY in my life.

I have had the pleasure of contributing since 2010. While my hours of participation have fluctuated over the years, the Joy of Giving has never wavered and never will.

For me, the amount of contribution I make is ALWAYS surpassed by the fun and satisfaction I receive.  Basically, I get WAY more out of this than I put in. That is because there is a certain effect that giving of your time has compared to simply “cutting a check.” While giving money will always be important, the act of “being there” on the front line puts YOU in a category that very few get to experience. First of all, the feedback you get is instant, from the other volunteers that you help guide to the satisfaction of seeing a task you may not think you can do, completed and completed well. You also see that what you are doing directly effects a family you don’t even know.

Plus, how cool does “HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CREW LEADER” look on your resume.

To be a Crew Leader, you need only one thing: A desire to make a difference.

No previous construction experience is required. You will learn “on the job”. There is no time requirement. You give when and how you can. You also pick up the confidence and skills to do work on your or your friends house and end up saving – that’s right – MONEY. Other pluses for me are that they give you a cool T-shirt and host crew leader lunches.

While the affordable housing need is great, so is the need for women and men to effect that change –                                that would be YOU.

I have met so many awesome people doing this, I’ve lost count. Be the next one.

You can help more local families experience the peace and freedom of owning an affordable home. When you donate to Habitat Orlando & Osceola, every dollar helps us build homes and work toward a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live. You can make impact lives through homeownership; please give today.