WINONA LAKE — Annette Hammond puts in full-time hours at the Habitat for Humanity office in Warsaw. But she doesn’t consider it work.
“I say I serve full time, not work full time,” said the 22-year-old.
Hammond moved to Winona Lake from Goshen a few years ago to attend Grace College. She graduated last year with a degree in business management and will pursue a master’s degree in higher education beginning this fall to prepare for a career in student affairs.
“The role I hope to enter into is more along lines of residential director, so I will be overseeing the housing of students,” said Hammond, adding, “I don’t really care which college I work for.”
“I am passionate about missional living,” which she described as “having a mission you wake up to each morning and live your life to fulfill, having a purpose, knowing there is meaning in the life you live and not wasting it.”
Hammond’s prescription for a well-lived life includes “that element of stewardship of the time you are given and the resources you are blessed with.”
So, after a brief stint in a “business-related position” for a local company right out of college, she sought fulfillment serving her community.
Hammond joined Americorps at the suggestion of Mickey Kaufman, Habitat’s executive director, and in September 2017 was stationed at the organization’s Warsaw office.
The pay is not great. “I get a living stipend which basically covers groceries,” she said. “I have a host family, so the rent is taken care of.”
But the non-monetary rewards are such she plans to renew her term for another year. Hammond’s relationship with Habitat for Humanity began before she left college.
“At Grace we had a class called, ‘Entrepreneurship and Service Practicum.’ We were tasked with starting and operating a business and had to turn a profit.
“We created a product for Grace students, our target market. We decided to design and produce blankets with a laser-engraved ‘G’ that looked like it was burned into the fuzzy material.
“We pitched the idea to several bank representatives, got a loan and sold quite a few of the blankets.
“I was vice president of services and coordinated volunteer hours for our class” with a goal of performing 300 hours of service among the class’s 30 students.
“We looked for an organization with biblical values that met certain criteria and the class voted for Habitat for Humanity as our service project. That was how I was introduced to Mickey and Habitat.”
After the 12-week project, the class donated its $1,500 net profit to Habitat.
Hammond started by helping Kaufman’s husband, David, with home construction. “It was a way to unwind from school and do something with my hands,” she said. “It was a step in my own personal development.”
Though she considers herself a “pretty reserved and typically private person” who prefers to stay near home, she has been on two overseas missions trips.
In 2010 she helped paint a children’s facility in Honduras and in 2014 served at an elementary and high school in Puerto Rico.
When she is not serving with Habitat, Hammond enjoys kayaking, reading news articles and serving on the activities committee of her church, Valley Springs Fellowship in Warsaw.