College senior David Bailey was recently involved in a Habitat for Humanity project that helped build a new house for Lashunda McNabb, a Starbucks barista at Emory.
A regular at Starbucks since his first year at Emory, Bailey met McNabb and started developing a close relationship through interacting with her on an almost daily basis.
During this past fall semester, McNabb informed Bailey about her new home being built through Habitat for Humanity and he offered to help.
According to Bailey, his passion for community development gives him the ability to listen to what he considers peoples’ true voices and their real stories.
During his time at Emory, Bailey said he has been able to interact with more members of the Emory community and learn about their troubles, hopes and dreams for the future by slowing down and taking the time to focus on others.
“Everyone has a story and an interesting life as to how they got to where they are today. A lot of times we are so consumed with our own lives and ambitions that we don’t take the time to find out how other people got to where they are or what their dreams and aspirations are,” Bailey said.
The project to build McNabb’s new home started in November 2014 and lasted for a total of seven weeks.
Bailey, with no previous experience with Habitat for Humanity, arrived at the site to a nearly completed house.
Alongside other members of the Atlanta community, Bailey was assigned to exterior painting, which included windowsills, shutters and exterior lighting.
Humbled by the experience, Bailey plans to continue participating in service projects for Habitat for Humanity after he realized how easy it is to get involved and make a big difference in someone’s life.
According to Bailey, the Emory community is more than the students, faculty and professional staff members that we see working in their various departments and divisions on campus.
“[The Emory community] includes every person you interact with on a daily basis on campus that is affiliated with the University. I think it is important to give back and to show that we are all one big community. By giving back to the various members of your community, you show that you care about those individuals, you care about the well being of the community and you let them know that they are valuable to the community,” Bailey said.
— By Hayley Silverstein, Asst. Student Life Editor