If I can thrive in this industry, it will not be achieved solely through my own hard work. I work with and rely on a great number of talented tradespeople and we are supported by an even larger number of the community we work with and for. I am reminded of this often, when I get stuck on an estimate and am able to quickly turn to someone for some estimating or logistical help, when I need some extra muscle or just when I need moral support. Of course it’s larger than that too. I don’t forget that living in this time and place, and with some lucky happenstances from years past, along with some hard work, have let me be in the position I’m in now: happily working at building beautiful spaces for people who pay me to be able to go buy more climbing gear. I’m happy and lucky to be here, so I give back where I can.
Sometimes I volunteer using my building skills. I recently helped Books to Prisoners set up their new space. I hope to be volunteering with them again soon just opening envelopes and mailing books. I’ve helped with Habitat for Humanity, a Buddhist Sangha on Capitol Hill, and with the MS association of WA, rebuilding structures to make their homes easier to navigate and use.
Often I’ve done enough building during the week and so I’ve volunteered with The Compass Center downtown (mail services for the homeless), the Washington Trails Association (the Mountaineers made me do that one), with youth programs with the Mountaineers getting kids excited about the outdoors, and occasionally through the United Way Day of Caring.
I suppose all this is to say that, If I can work for you, you’ll also be helping me to be able to work for others and together build a stronger, more connected community.