Habitat for Humanity is more than a non-government organization that builds houses. It is a bridge that allows people to connect. It acts as a platform which strives to provide decent, durable shelter for all. My name is David Chow. I am from Hong Kong and attend a boarding school in the United States. I am an athlete, a video editor and a student. Most importantly, I am an advocate for a world in which everyone has a decent place to live.
The first time I heard of Habitat for Humanity was after my first year of high school. I was back in Hong Kong for the summer and saw my sister reading a Habitat brochure. When I asked what she was reading, she explained that it was an organization she had recently volunteered with. They had embarked on a week-long journey to revitalize underprivileged communities in mainland China. When she told me about her experience, I could hear the passion in her voice. I became interested in Habitat and, three weeks later, participated in my first Habitat project in Hong Kong called Project Home Works. The goal was to assist an elderly widow refurbish her deteriorating apartment. It was a sweltering day and by the time the sun set I was soaked with sweat and covered in dust but satisfied that we were able to help her live more comfortably. When we finished the job, the woman warmly thanked us with a cheerful smile. I left that night feeling inspired to continue my journey and help more people and communities in need.
My experience in Hong Kong gave me a glimpse of the struggles underprivileged communities face on a daily basis. When I returned to The Hill School, my friend Bill and I decided to create a Habitat for Humanity campus chapter with the goal of supporting Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone can live in dignity. Our chapter gives us an opportunity to connect with communities both locally and across the globe.
To me, Habitat represents so much more than just a volunteer activity. It has helped me to develop a sense of responsibility and an intrinsic motivation to give back to society. It has provided my classmates and me, along with so many others, to make a direct impact in the communities we serve. Most importantly, it has instilled a strong belief in me that no one can live in dignity until everyone can live in dignity.