As Camden employees, we are exposed to an abundance of opportunities. One very exciting opportunity is our annual Camden Cares event. Camden Cares is a day everyone dedicates to giving back to our communities. In Austin Texas, we were blessed to work with Rebuilding Together Austin, a company who helps with critical home repairs for low income homeowners.
The day is October 13th, the setting is downtown Austin, and the attitude is excitement. All of Austin’s Camden communities meet to be briefed on the game plan. The house is operation kindness. We were informed that the house was previously worked on by Meals on Wheels. They had come in and built a small house on the lot behind the existing house. The existing house was to be torn down due to its critical structure. With the game plan asserted, we were ready to go!
All Camden team members were organized into groups, each group being assigned to a specific task. Our efforts to refurbish the home included landscaping, painting, upgrading interior finishes and installing appliances. It was so rewarding to see the results of the hard work and love everyone put into the project. Through our unified efforts, we not only built strong(er) relationships with our Camden peers, we had the honor of giving back to our community by lending a helping hand to our fellow Austin residents.
As our day came to a close, our team hurried to get everything finished before the family came home. From last minute paint touch ups, to the cleanup crew putting all of our tools and tables away. We wanted everything to be perfect! Our team was exhausted, hot, hungry, and a little smelly. We had been waiting all day for the family to come home, and see all of the hard work we had put in, but were we really ready? Suddenly the butterflies were taking over my stomach while we all gathered in a big group. I could see the anticipation on everyone’s face.
The older couple was gone for the day because their daughter did not want to ruin the surprise. She stayed and assisted us throughout the day with decisions and advice on certain items. They were brought back to their home to see the transformation. They walked down the long pathway, passing their old home that would soon be demolished, and were greeted by our entire team full of smiles and tears. They were overcome with joy and appreciation. They loved what we did with their yard landscaping and the paint on their new house. I think their favorite part was their new rocking chairs out front. The long day full of sweat, splinters, and bug bites was absolutely worth it.
I know I speak for everyone when I say it is an honor and privilege to work for such an amazing company like Camden that gives back to the community. Camden Cares has touched hundreds of thousands of lives throughout the country, and to be a part of something so special is amazing.
Written by: Molly Critchlow, Alissa Karsten, and Allison Baum