Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 300,000 homes around the world
to shelter more than 1.5 million people. As the organization has grown, it has brought in
such notable volunteers as Jimmy Carter, Brad Pitt, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. Among
volunteers, the most common comment is that they always get more than they give. If I Had
a Hammer is the story of Habitat for Humanity, how it began, how it's grown, and how it's
changed lives and communities. The book is filled with photos of Habitat homes around the
world and filled with the stories of the people—the volunteers and the partner families.
A partner family is the one who will receive the home after they've worked hard on its
creation. Partner families pay for the homes over time through interest-free loans; those
loan payments help fund the creation of more homes. They also help the families retain the
pride of home ownership that they've earned.
Though I did wonder how much children in the target age group would get out of a book
about a volunteer organization that mostly just uses adults, I know I found it touching and
inspiring. The book is packed with quotes from volunteers and from recipients—but I
warn you, it just might have you looking for a hammer of your own so you can pitch in too.