July 30, 2009
This week's hero is a young man whose long hours within the walls of the Building Goodness Foundation in Charlottesville, are making a difference in lives worlds away.
As a junior in college, Ethan Tate spent a few months in Cameroon. His experiences there would pave the path to his future career.
"Just seeing how really simple things could make dramatic improvements in peoples lives in developing countries. When I got back I realized that the same things needed to be done here," he said.
A position with the Building Goodness Foundation gave Ethan that opportunity. At 26 years of age, Ethan is responsible for organizing the efforts of volunteers to go out and build community buildings, both in our area and in impoverished countries.
"We have some specialized housing in Haiti and we're building in Honduras. We just finished a 6,000 square foot community center in Pearlington, Mississippi, which was wiped out by Katrina," said Connie Jorgensen, Director of Community Relations.
This fall, the Building Goodness Foundation is working on several local projects with the Virginia Institute for Autism, The Offender Aide and Restoration Program and the Arch of Piedmont.
Coworkers and associates believe that without Ethan on their team, the jobs just would not get done.
"Ethan understands and believes in helping people and the power of volunteers to do that. He's picked part of the world that he can help, and he devotes all his time and energy to it. It just blows me away," said Jorgensen.
Ethan has proven that hard work can be accomplished with a lot of heart.
"If I can go through my entire working career doing this type of work, I'd be the happiest guy around," he said.
This hero is helping to build a better world from the ground up; that's the definition of "labor of love".