Habitat Young Professionals are a part of something big.
Your parents always told you that being a grown-up means paying your own bills, figuring out how to cook a real meal, and maybe doing your own laundry. But it also means you finally get to set your own schedule, fix up your own place, and really make your own life.
Life as a young adult is pretty good.
Paying that goodness forward is one of the reasons Habitat for Humanity exists. And its Habitat Young Professionals (HYP) group gives young professionals a way to combine a lot of those good things into one.
“Habitat Young Professionals is your chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” the website, gdmhabitat.org/hyp, says.
Whether you’ve purchased your first home yet or not, you know the significance of having your own space. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the principle that all people in America, no matter their income or social standing or race, deserve a home of their own. That has always been the organization’s mission from the start.
“Habitat Young Professionals is open to anyone. You don’t have to be an expert,” says HYP President Alyssa Young. “Anyone who supports the Habitat mission of affordable housing for everyone is encouraged to join. We are really trying to grow this group.”
She says one of the best things about HYP is the opportunity to work with Habitat on different projects that help homeowners build their own homes.
“Some HYP members are a little intimidated the first time they work on a build because they don’t have any construction experience,” she says. “But once you’ve done it, you realize you don’t have to be an expert. Anyone can do this. There is always something you can do on the project to help.”
She adds that getting your hands dirty and seeing your efforts become someone’s home are the reason she joined HYP. But she adds that having young professionals from the construction trades and the real estate professions in the group not only expands HYP’s opportunities but gives less-experienced members the opportunity to learn even more about homeownership and maintenance.
HYP is open to adults between the ages of 21 and 40, according to Habitat for Humanity. Members provide a $20 donation to Habitat annually, which goes toward a Rock the Block project, and have access to various events throughout the year.
The HYP Leadership Council meets monthly to plan activities, and the group hosts volunteer days every other month to work on current Habitat projects. In addition, HYP members have the opportunity to participate in social activities together.
“We’ve done things like a Wine and Canvas event, where members could do a painting and then either take it home or donate it as a housewarming gift to a Habitat homeowner,” says Young. “And last month we hosted a DIY Night at the Habitat ReStore. Participants got to use ReStore materials to complete a DIY project led by a Habitat staffer.”
The group will be participating in a fund-raising event at the Habitat ReStore. HYPyHolidays, which will run from 9:00 a.m.to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, will raise funds to sponsor an HYP volunteer day.
Joining other young professionals at HYP not only serves the community’s growth, it can help professional growth, too. “There are lots of networking groups you can join to get to know other people in your profession,” Young explains. “But because HYP members come from all different fields, it gives you the chance to network with people you might not normally meet. And working with someone on a build or at another event, you get to know each other pretty quickly.”
Young says HYP membership offers both tangible and intangible benefits. “You do get a t-shirt and other incentives for the projects you work on and discounted entry fees for other Habitat events,” she explains. “But it’s the intangibles that mean the most—getting to know people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with, networking in a unique way, getting involved in the community. These are all really great benefits you can’t really measure.”
You can donate money to a worthy cause (and you should), you can volunteer at charity events (and you should), and you can join a professional organization to further your career opportunities (and that’s a good idea). But you can also join Habitat Young Professionals and do all three.
Not only will you get to be part of something big, you’ll have a lot of fun, too. And that’s the best way to do good.