The Birthday Build

Build a home for someone? What a way to celebrate 50!

For his birthday, Mansoor Charaniya asked friends from across the country to join him and help build an Atlanta Habitat home as a Day Partner sponsor. He sent out an email and close to 60 friends responded.

“As I turn 50 this year and reflect upon the last few decades, I am humbled by the countless blessings and good fortune in my life,” he wrote.  “One of the many blessings is my home.  It is my sanctuary and source of joy for me.  The source of happiness is not the four walls and objects within but what it represents, the memories our family has built, the protection it has provided, and mostly a sense of pride.”

Mansoor, an IT senior manager at Accenture, talked about the challenges he has faced with the help of friends and family, and his deep need to be of service.

“On my birthday,” he continued. “I wish to be able to make possible for a deserving family in Atlanta to have a home and enjoy all the same benefits that our families have been able to avail.  To make this possible, I have partnered with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity…I am reaching out to you as I am absolutely certain that you will help me realize this wish and support putting a roof over a much worthy family in the community.”

And they did! Friends and family responded within three hours and raised more than the $9,000 Mansoor needed for the Day Sponsorship. Not only that, they came from Ohio and Washington D.C. and Dallas to work shoulder to shoulder alongside Mansoor, his family and the new homebuyer.

As members of the Islamic faith, Mansoor explained. Service is not an obligation, but a way of life. Community building and honoring the dignity of those who are served is central to this belief. Building with Atlanta Habitat checked all the boxes as he reached this milestone birthday.

“Certainly, I could have had a big party,” he says. “But when I asked my community to support me in this, I was humbled at their overwhelming support.” The group raised and donated more than required for the build, almost $13,000. They donated time, labor, food and a gathering afterward for everyone who participated. 

Their response is moving. “Several said they were absolutely humbled,” Mansoor recalls. “They said, ‘this is an eye opener, a game changer’ and ‘I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time’”.