EDITOR’S NOTE: by now most of you know about Craft Happiness IPA Project, a series we will use to “craft happiness” with charitable causes in our community. Our first beer in the Project, Domicile IPA, is about the needs of the homeless and affordable housing.
Did you wake up in your own bed this morning? Shower in your own bathroom? Make breakfast in your own kitchen? You might want to take a moment and consider your good fortune. Worldwide there are a hundred million people who are homeless. Another billion and a half lack adequate housing. That’s almost a quarter of the world’s population that won’t put their head on a safe or comfortable pillow tonight.
But there are those who strive to provide a home – and by proxy, hope – to those who seek the better life that better quarters would inevitably provide.
Habitat For Humanity is one such organization – their stated goal is building homes, community and hope. “I like to move hope to the front of the list,” says Mike Campbell, Executive Director/CEO of Habitat For Humanity of Forsyth County. “Whether it’s for those who never thought it possible to own a home, or parents looking for a safe and healthy environment to raise their kids, or a child who gets space to become whomever they want to be – that is the hope we provide.”
Mike has seen Habitat houses become pebbles that ripple the surface of downtrodden communities. One new house can lead to improvements throughout a neighborhood, and ultimately affect education levels, crime statistics… and, perhaps most importantly, the positivity of personal and civic pride.
That positive feeling isn’t limited to the benefactors – it’s something that Habitat fosters in its volunteers as well. Every year dozens of college students eschew raucous Spring Break destinations for service to a community under the guidance of HFH – many right here in Forsyth County, housed in a bunkhouse specially designed for visiting volunteers.
Habitat also counts diversity and tolerance amongst its virtues – their Unity Build program brings together religions of all faiths and denominations to build houses cooperatively. One such house was built here in Winston-Salem during the recent tumultuous presidential election.
Next time you ‘take the high road’, don’t be surprised if you see a Habitat For Humanity house there.
Mike explains: “People are very generous to causes that can change lives. All religions became one here, simply to change the life of a family and the face of a community. The atmosphere was one of solidarity, peace and acceptance.”
That just might be a little dose of hope for all of us.
So what about those in our community who don’t know from one night to the next where they’ll be sleeping? That’s where men like Tom Lawson come in. Tom is a board member for Samaritan Ministries, a volunteer-based soup kitchen, shelter and rehab facility in Winston-Salem that’s open 365 days a year.
Tom’s 20-plus years of volunteering at Samaritan have taught him a lot – not the least of which is that “serving is a joy”. Not what you’d expect to hear – but then Samaritan can be an unexpected place.
People that come to seek its services are referred to as ‘guests’, and afforded a considerable degree of dignity and respect. In turn for a warm, dry, safe place to escape life’s hardships, these guests are by and large vocally appreciative and grateful. And surprisingly, according to Tom, not without a healthy degree of optimism that their lives will get better.
In other words… hope.
POSTSCRIPT: Our hope is that this IPA Project, in addition to satisfying your taste buds, will help you satisfy the need we all feel at one time or another to give back. There are local volunteer opportunities wherever you are; here in Winston-Salem, both Habitat and Samaritan could use your help. Samaritan also keeps a wish list of items in need at the shelter; grab a few and drop them by.
There’s also a way you can give back and drink beer at the same time.
We’ve created a Craft Happiness Night that we’ll hold once a month at both our pub and tasting room simultaneously. All you have to do is come out and enjoy a bite or a beer; we’ll donate a part of that night’s sales to a local organization working in the field of that month’s charitable need. Our first one will be this Wednesday, February 15th – at the tasting room we’ll have our friends from Habitat For Humanity around to help build awareness of their good works, and answer any questions you might have about volunteering.
They’ll also be promoting ‘The House That Beer Built’, an intiative HFH has successfully launched in other states that they’re bringing to North Carolina. They’ll have a 2×4 wall stud on hand for people to sign that will eventually go in the wall of the house. Come out, have a beer… and craft some happiness.