Chatmeter Cares: We Built A Home!
At Chatmeter, we jump at the chance to give back. Whether we’re donating toys to a children’s hospital, collecting cans for the San Diego Food Drive, or building homes for those who need it most, we’re always looking for ways to make a difference, however, we can. At the beginning of this month, a group from Chatmeter headed down to Mexico to build a home for a deserving family with Baja Bound. This experience was life-changing not only for the family that received the home but for the Chatmeter employees who were able to build it. Here’s a look at our second trip with Baja Bound.
The Chatmeter team, the house we built, and the family we built it for.
Chatmeter and Baja Bound
Our SVP of Sales, Lee Auerbach, has a passion for giving back so when his friend was looking for volunteers to help with a build she was organizing in May of this year, Lee stepped up and offered Chatmeter’s assistance. A group of Chatmeter employees, including our CEO, Collin Holmes, headed down to Mexico to build our first home with the organization, Baja Bound. The team had such an amazing experience that our Senior Local Listings Specialist, Xander Beaumont, decided to take the lead in organizing a second trip for the year.
The team works to get the roof built.
Xander has worked at Chatmeter for over 2 years and is one of the most dedicated and passionate members of our team. It came as no surprise when Xander stepped up to coordinate the next Baja Bound trip. This time around we had a better idea of what to expect and inspired many of our newer employees were eager to get involved. This experience made it easy for our team to bond and get to know each other while doing some good.
Working with Baja Bound
Teamwork: It was all hands on deck the entire weekend, it was a team effort to get this home built efficiently.
The team headed down to Mexico on a Friday at 6:30 am with a crew of about 16 including a few friends and family. As soon as the team arrived in Maneadero, Baja California, Mexico, everyone immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to work wherever they could help. There was something for everyone to do, from framing the house to painting the walls the Baja Bound blue. It was amazing how much they were able to accomplish in such a short time.
The team gets the walls in place and windows cut.
By the end of the first day, the team had all four exterior walls up and the entire home framed. On day two, they worked on the roof and finished up the interior of the house. The house has 2 bedrooms, a living room, and a loft for the kids to sleep in. On the last day, they installed electricity and were even able to provide the family with some furniture. It was a hot and long weekend, all-in-all it took a total of 24 hours worth of work to build the home.
The team bonds as they find creative ways to get the house built quickly.
Handing Over The Keys
Xander helps Margarita and her family open the door to their new home.
“When I handed her the keys to her new home, I was overcome with joy knowing that she and her family had a real, safe place to call home,” said Xander. The home went to Margarita, a single mother of seven who was sharing the home with her 7 kids, her grandchild, and her daughter’s husband. Many of Margarita’s children were away for the weekend working in the fields. Margarita and her family were living in a small self-made shack built from metal, wood, tarps, and ropes before we came. We’re honored we were able to provide the family with a sturdy home they can count on for years to come. It’s an even better feeling knowing that we built it with our own hands.
In this photo, you can see the home Margarita and her family lived in next to the one we built for them.
Giving Back to the Community
In addition to building a home for Margarita and her family, the team also donated clothing, bedding, and toys to the entire community. Chatmeter employees, friends, and families helped in the months prior by collecting these donations. “[The neighborhood] was very excited to receive the donations but nothing could beat the art supplies like crayons, pens, and markers,” mentioned Xander, it was great to see how much of a difference we were able to make.
Chris plays with one of the neighborhood kids.
In addition to giving back to Margarita’s neighborhood, Xander and the team took a trip to the Village of Hope Community Center, in Ensenada, to serve breakfast to children and their families. The team spent some time getting to know the kids and learn their stories. They also went to visit a small migrant camp to drop off donations to dozens of families. These families had migrated from South America and were looking for work in Baja or to continue on to the United States. “The house build was our main project but our team had more activities and experiences than we could count on two hands,” said Xander.
The team hands out breakfast to the children’s church group.
Special Thanks to Xander Beaumont
Xander was the driving force behind this Baja Bound trip and we’re so happy to have people like him working at Chatmeter who want to give back. His passion for community service stems from his work as a Boy Scout to now Eagle Scout. And although he organized most of the trip, he said, “I wouldn’t have been able to get connected with Baja Bound or do half of the organizing without the help and support of my team members in this project.”
We appreciate all the hard work our team was able to accomplish with Baja Bound. We’re happy to have passionate members of our team like Lee and Xander who help to make these things possible and we look forward to another trip soon!
If you’d like to learn more about Baja Bound or make a donation, head to BajaBound.org for more information.