If you are a regular reader of our blog, you may remember that a group of Merriman employees have been using our volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity at the Rainer Vista location. The house was scheduled for completion in December, but we finished greatly ahead of schedule and the ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Sunday, October 2nd!

Having now completed our first Habitat house as a team, there is much to reflect on.  Was the work strenuous and tiring?  Yes.  Did the notoriously fickle Washington weather make things uncomfortable?  Frequently.  Were we always sore at the end of the day?  Definitely.  But did our team leave the worksite every single day with smiles on our faces?  Absolutely.  Would we ever choose to use our volunteer hours with Habitat in the future?  In a heartbeat.  This relationship that we have built with Habitat as well as the new inhabitants of the four-plex we  and other volunteers worked side by side with for the whole year has been unfathomably rewarding as well as productive.

We experienced several pleasant surprises during our time at Rainer Vista, including unintentionally volunteering with a Merriman client!    He is a long time Habitat volunteer, and now that he is retired donates a significant portion of his time to various Habitat locations.  He was very proud to be a client of a company that gives back to the community like Merriman does, and we are quite delighted to have such wonderful and well balanced clients to work with!

Another nice surprise came at the very end of the last day before the ribbon cutting ceremony.  While moving a washer and dryer set upstairs in one of the houses, we noticed that all of the appliances happened to match each other.  A little known fact is that Whirlpool donates a brand new Refrigerator, Range, Washer, and Dryer to every Habitat home worldwide.  Those 130,000 appliances represent a $72 million dollar commitment, and we at Merriman applaud their advocacy and desire to make a difference.

Despite all these successes, our long term mission is far from over.  Habitat has broken ground on another four-plex near Rainier Vista, with access to the same urban farm and light rail mass transportation system, and we hope to continue our efforts there.  An ordinary house key may not seem like much to most, but to those that have never owned a home before, that simple house key is precious metal.  Everyone deserves a decent and affordable home, and Merriman will do what it can to make that happen, one family at a time.