107th Members Give Back to Community
By Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell, 107th Attack Wing
/ Published April 27, 2017
NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- More than six Airmen from the 107th Attack Wing here volunteered to help Habitat for Humanity renovate a house throughout April, 2017.
With volunteerism in the wing being encouraged, members of the wing were informed about the opportunity to work on the project. The Airmen took the opportunity to give back to the community that has supported them for so long.
“I did some research about the project and it intrigued me,” said Staff Sgt. Stephanie Bowman, a personnel specialist assigned to the 107th ATKW. “I wanted to be involved in something that was going to help people out.”
While some Habitat for Humanity projects build entirely new homes, this project focused on using an existing house. Such houses are then gutted, and remodeled according to the needs of the future owners.
“We did demolition, and pretty much tried to take the interior walls down as much as possible,” said Bowman. “We picked up all the trash in the yard and inside the house as well.”
For some of the Airmen, this was the first time they had volunteered to do this type of work.
“It was a humbling feeling, much greater than I thought I was going to feel,” said Senior Airman Kathryn Marotta, a command post controller assigned to the 107th ATKW. “You walked out with the feeling of what you just did for someone and it definitely made me want to go back and volunteer more.”
Working on this project brought members of the 107th together for the common goal of doing something good for people in need. Volunteering their time became an important and worthwhile experience for the Airmen.
There are a lot of people that are not as fortunate as some of us are, said Marotta. Taking our skills and what we are each capable of and giving to those in need is truly a good thing to do, said Marotta.
Taking these houses and making them habitable again is more than just providing a family with a place to live. It is also about giving them a chance at a more positive future.
It’s about being able to help rebuild these homes in order for a family to not only move in but also have a happy life, said Bowman. A little bit goes a long way when we come together and are able to change someone’s life, said Bowman.
Working on this project did not necessarily seem like work to the Airmen. Afterwards, many of them left with plans to return.
“It was a lot of fun, everyone was upbeat and positive,” said Marotta. “A lot of people look at it as a chore and it’s really not. It’s a lot of fun and I definitely encourage everyone to do any kind of volunteering any chance they get.”