One Good Deed Inspires Another

2016-08-05-durso-jobsite-8260-2-300x200Teaching English as a Second Language led Stephen McCloskey to the Habitat Collier jobsite.

Having joined his wife Shelly teaching at the Literacy Volunteers of Collier County (LVCC), Stephen met future Habitat homeowner Louis at his first class in 2014.

It’s been more than two years since Louis first came to LVCC, and now he’s more than a student to Stephen, he’s a friend. Stephen has become a confidant and an enduring source of support for the father of two, helping him to navigate through personal matters as well as to improve his English skills.

“We’re not only in the relationship of teacher and student; both my wife and I consider Louis to be a friend,” says Stephen.

“I think there was something in the plan that put the two of [them] together,” says Shelly.

NEIGHBOR BEGINS VOLUNTEERING WITH STEPHEN

When he learned that Louis was partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build his own home, Stephen didn’t hesitate to offer his help. He pitched in to help with the sweat equity hours that Louis and his family are required to put into the construction of their home, and even enlisted the help of his neighbor to do the same.

“So I mentioned it to Bill, my neighbor,” says Stephen. “We said, ‘Boy this would be something good to do to help Louis get his five-hundred hours.”

On a blistering day in August, Stephen and Bill are working on installing appliances in Legacy Lakes, a neighborhood under construction in North Naples. Like so many, Stephen’s neighbor Bill had always wanted to volunteer at Habitat, but needed this little push to get started.

“Bill’s actually good at Habitat work – I’m learning, but Bill knows a lot more than me,” Stephen says.

Though Stephen admittedly isn’t the most skilled volunteer, it’s his willingness to learn and lend a hand to help his friend that carries the most meaning for Louis. These unlikely friends now share a bond that neither of them will soon forget.

BECOME AN LVCC TUTOR

Learn more about the Literacy Volunteers of Collier County.

LVCC needs more people to teach English to new immigrants and low-literate adults. LVCC has two different types of tutors: those who want to tutor Family Literacy programs such as Children and Parents Reading Together, and those who want to tutor adults. Training programs have been built for each type of tutor. Potential tutors may request the tutor training that fits the type of volunteering they want to perform.