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Building on the "Power of One"

Justin’s mom had signed up to help repair homes in the community. She and 15 other people had volunteered and formed one of the repair and home improvement teams. They fixed up homes for people who were too elderly to do the work themselves — and didn’t have the money to pay others to do the work for them.

She asked Justin to join her one Saturday. She said he might have some fun working on the house. That day, the team was fixing up the porch, painting the house, and insulating the attic.

Justin had a great time. He got to work on the porch and learned quite a bit about using hammers and saws. At the end of the day, he was very proud of the work his team had done. He asked his mom if he could come again the next week. And at school on Monday, he told his friends about the project. They seemed interested, and a few asked if they could come along.

That was only the beginning. Word about the project spread from friend to friend at school, and as more teens (and even a few parents) visited the house project, they signed up for the repair and home improvement program.

What started out as a one-Saturday visit for Justin turned into three new crews, teams who worked regularly on houses in the community. The program finished a dozen more houses than planned that year – all because of the extra crews. And, even more impressively, everyone returned at the start of the next year to continue their effort.

Everyone had fun, learned to work with tools, picked up some skills, and made some much-needed repairs for the elderly. Justin will tell you that all of the help just sort of “happened” on its own. It’s the power of one. One teen got involved, and many others followed.