When snowboardcross athlete Pat Holland got a phone call from an old friend asking him to help her build a Habitat for Humanity house with her cast-mates on daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful, Holland had a number of reasons not to turn her down, the least of which was an opportunity to help families in need.
"A friend of mine works on The Bold and the Beautiful and they were building the house for Habitat, so she invited me to go work on a house and do some framing with some of the cast and crew members," Holland said.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry which has built over 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.
According to Holland, the house he was helping to construct in Los Angeles was a part of a much larger project.
"It was in a community of Habitat for Humanity houses. They had a community garden going, too, and just a lot of projects for everyone to be involved in," Holland said. "Down in LA there is a lot of crime and a lot of dangerous areas where kids are growing up, but now a family gets to have a safe house where their children can grow and have a healthy upbringing."
For Holland, who grew up in Sandpoint, ID, the choice to donate his time to Habitat was a simple one given his family history with the organization.
"My grandparents have both done a bunch of work for Habitat for Humanity and I felt like I should try to help out too," Holland said. "It was nice to be able to help people out who don't exactly have a lot of money and need a helping hand. It felt good."
In order for Habitat to accomplish what it provides to people around the world, volunteers donate their time, money and materials into creating communities and homes. The family that will move into the home must also help in constructing it.
After construction is completed, the family in need must provide a down payment and monthly mortgage payments. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
"I think it's a good program and I like what they do. They help people get into a house that they can afford which is primarily built by volunteers. A lot of the materials are donated by major sponsors, too," Holland said. "I definitely want to be able to do more with them in the future."
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, or for information on how to get involved go to www.habitat.org.
Here's a practice run of Holland's during this past year's X-Games Boardercross: