Volunteers show off ‘secret skills’ | VailDaily.com

Volunteers show off ‘secret skills’

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyEmployees of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek spend a recent retreat building Habitat for Humanity homes in Eagle.

EAGLE ” While some employees may spend their company retreats kayaking, camping or going to a popular vacation spot, a group from Park Hyatt Beaver Creek spent their quarterly retreat painting walls, sanding wood and trimming installation.

The resort’s sales and marketing group spent Wednesday working on three Eagle homes through Habitat for Humanity.

“We chose this project to work on a task together that was out of the normal realm of our line of work,” said Marketing and Public Relations Representative Jennifer Rankin.

It was her first time volunteering with the nonprofit, she said.

The group, who has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity since 2003 for a total of 871 hours, worked on two duplexes and a triplex, and were able to meet some of the people whose lives were impacted by their work.

“We got to meet a lady whose house we worked on, so that was just extra motivation,” Rankin said.

Habitat for Humanity in Eagle and Lake counties is currently completing seven homes in Eagle and hope to start building16 homes in Edwards. The completed homes will go to area families based on need through no-profit, no-interest loans.

Groups or individuals can volunteer throughout the year by donating money and materials, on-site labor or managing the materials outlet.

Habitat program director Kalie Palmer said that working at a site is not only a chance to give back to the community, but also to build community within a group.

“It’s a great group-building exercise. It really brings people together,” she said. “Communities building communities ” that’s our slogan.”

Rankin said she was not sure at first how well the team would work together.

“It was great to learn what ‘secret skills’ each individual could offer and watch the team work together to accomplish the task,” she said.

The group of 14 did not have much experience in construction work, but a site manager from Habitat was there to guide them.

“You just need the willingness to work hard and have fun. We’ll teach you what you need to know,” Palmer said.

Katie Coakley of Park Hyatt public relations said that partnering with Habitat allows volunteers to make a significant difference with just one day of work. “

“When you think about volunteering,” she said, “you may think it’s hard, or that you can’t find the time, but with this you don’t have to commit years or months. It’s easy to get involved.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2929 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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