Habitat for Humanity strives to exemplify what can be accomplished when we work together, and this year’s Interfaith Build, which began on Saturday, September 11 at our La Fortuna (Renton) site, was a perfect model of that kind of teamwork and community. A poignant day of remembrance for many, Interfaith Build 2021 commenced on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Thirty-five volunteers and members of several different faith groups gathered to build both homes and bridges between communities.
Initiated in response to 9/11 under the name “Together We Build,” dozens of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and other faith groups have come together each year to build for the community, overcome the cultural divisions that rise in the wake of violence, and to practice building a better world together. More than 50 faith communities have participated in Interfaith Builds with Habitat SKC since 2001.
The 35 volunteers hailed from a variety of regional faith communities, including St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Seattle; Bothell United Methodist Church; University Unitarian Church in Seattle; Holy Rosary in West Seattle; North Shore Church in Kirkland; Church of Jesuit Christ of Latter Day Saints – Eastside; Holy Family in Kirkland; and numerous religious (but unaffiliated) individuals. All came to support Habitat for Humanity as part of its annual Interfaith Build.
Volunteers, working in small groups led by Americorps helpers, spackled and painted the La Fortuna buildings, as well as made repairs to one existing resale home in a previously completed La Fortuna building nearby.
The morning build began with a blessing by led by Andrea Liggett from Holy Family in Kirkland. Lunchtime speakers included Gary Fallon, Habitat for Humanity board member, faith committee member and member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church; Vince Stricherz , founding member of Interfaith Build and longtime Habitat volunteer, member of Interfaith Committee and member of Holy Names Catholic Church; and Joel Feldman, former Habitat corporate and faith relations director, Jewish – unaffiliated.
Stricherz pointed out that Christians are in the Season of Creation (Sept. 1 – Oct. 4) and how this year’s theme, “A Home for All,” was fitting. Feldman spoke about how this Interfaith Build event timed with Rosh Hashanah (New Year); he shared sliced apples and honey with the group, a Jewish custom that symbolizes the hope of a sweet New Year. He also spoke to KING-TV, explaining the history of Interfaith Build and its significance in bringing all faiths together for a common cause.
Additional upcoming Interfaith Build dates include Friday, Sept. 17 & Saturday, Sept. 18, 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 30, 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. Learn more about Interfaith Build.
We are inspired by our accomplishments when we work together and push forward as a team. Thank you so much to all the faith groups and volunteers making our 20th Anniversary Interfaith Build such a success!