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When you’re new to an area, maybe you try to find the local restaurant scene or some cool places to experience culture. If you come to the Tampa Bay region, you might thrown on swimwear and head straight for the beach – especially if you are from Minnesota like Mike and Laura Kuhl.

Instead, they put on hardhats and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.

“We have taken a pause from working,” said Laura. “We are new to the Tampa area and wanted to find a way to connect with the community. We are impressed with Habitat’s 0% interest mortgage financing, efficient (build) processes, and caring Christian culture.”

Habitat is not a new concept for the Kuhls. Florida is actually the third state in which they have volunteered with the organization. Along their travels they have found themselves on build sites and ReStores.

“We volunteered in Tennessee and North Carolina,” said Mike. “We really enjoyed volunteering on build sites in the Smoky Mountains.”

The Kuhls have worked on single-family and townhome projects in their time volunteering with different Habitat affiliates. At Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco, Mike and Laura were busy working across the service area.

“The staff was so good about moving us to sites that really needed us the most,” said Laura. “Everyone was so helpful with the scheduling and making sure that we were always busy. We also really enjoyed working with all the build site staff, as they were very friendly, helpful, and patient. We developed friendships with many of the staff.”

The Kuhls praised the Habitat construction team for their teaching and trust. When the staff members felt Mike and Laura could take on some bigger tasks, they showed their faith in them.

“We appreciate that they would give us larger projects to complete and got to perform a variety of tasks each day.”

One of the couple’s favorite parts of Habitat is getting to work alongside future homeowners. Amber Bradley, who worked with the Kuhls on her future Habitat Home in St. Pete, couldn’t have asked for a better duo to have build with her.

“Oh my goodness, where do I begin with these two amazing people,” said Amber. “They showed up every day, so positive and just wanting to do whatever it took to do as much as possible (that day). And they were so knowledgeable and got stuff done! I love them.”

Being able to help families realize their homeownership dreams will always stick with the Kuhls.

“I was very rewarding to work alongside the homeowners,” said Mike. “We had an opportunity to meet many of them, and they were all friendly, hardworking, and appreciative of Habitat.”

“Meeting the homeowners put the value of what we were doing into perspective,” said Laura. ” We were making a difference in people’s lives. We joined a couple of the home dedications, and it was such a blessing that we could pray over the homes with the homeowners and celebrate with them.”

The Kuhls encourage anyone interested in volunteering with Habitat to jump right into the experience.

“Just go do it,” said Mike.

“You will be blessed in many ways by volunteering,” said Laura. “You will learn new skills, meet new people, and have visible progress for your efforts!”

Sign up for your volunteer shift by going to our Volunteer Page.

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