Lombard church group builds with Habitat for Humanity

Published: Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:08 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 22, 2013 9:47 a.m. CDT
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Sarah Minor — sminor@shawmedia.com Steve Klein of Trinity Lutheran Church works on trim July 13 during a Habitat for Humanity build in Glen Ellyn.

LOMBARD – Lois Seijo wanted to help her church branch out into the community.

As a member of Trinity Lutheran Church’s evangelism committee, Seijo led the planning for the church’s first Habitat for Humanity volunteer build, which was Saturday in Glen Ellyn.

“It’s sort of been my push,” said Seijo, a Lombard resident. “We do a lot of things within our congregation for members, but part of our mission is to expand out.”

For the past two years, Seijo and her husband have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity International, which builds houses for people throughout the world. Already familiar with the organization, she visited the DuPage Habitat for Humanity offices in Wheaton and learned about local opportunities to serve.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that builds houses for families in need of affordable housing. Much of the building work done on Habitat homes is done by groups of volunteers.

The organization wanted the volunteer team from Trinity Lutheran Church to be composed of at least 10 members, and the church was asked to make a donation to Habitat before participating.

“I’m just thrilled with the way it worked out,” Seijo said. “You never know how a new project will go.”

On July 13, a group of 11 volunteers with the church joined dozens of other volunteer groups from throughout the suburbs at the building site near Butterfield Road and Route 53 in Glen Ellyn where Habitat for Humanity is helping build a network of townhouses.

Barbara Wood of Lombard, who has been involved with Trinity Lutheran Church since 2003, was one of the volunteers who spent the day working.

She is a member of the evangelism committee, like Seijo, and was participating in her first Habitat event.

“My dad has volunteered with Habitat for years,” Wood said. “It was kind of a chance to continue the legacy.”

Wood knew she could be asked to perform any number of tasks. In the end, she spent much of the day cleaning and sweeping the space under construction. Other volunteers from Trinity Lutheran Church were doing caulking and door trim work.

The group worked from 8 a.m. to late afternoon, and Wood said the comments she has heard from people have been positive.

“I think all of us would do it again,” she said.

The evangelism committee at Trinity Lutheran Church already is planning to do annual, local Habitat builds in the future. She said the church had previous opportunities to participate in similar, international service projects, but it was important for the members to devote their resources to the local community, instead.

“We all had a great time and enjoyed getting to meet some of the future homeowners,” she said.

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