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  • Writer's pictureGreater Springfield Habitat for Humanity

CT woman celebrates birthday by volunteering at GSHFH with friends

If only there were more people like Kayla Monroe. In honor of her 30th birthday celebration, she said she wanted to do something different. She wanted to be with the people she loves, doing an activity she loves, while inspiring them to give back to the community. Kayla chose volunteering with Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH).

Taylor Bradshaw, Kayla’s sorority sister, nails in vinyl siding on the first-floor bedroom and bathroom addition home preservation project in Springfield for a Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity homeowner and veteran.

On May 4, she and her crew of 11 friends and family ventured to Springfield’s McKnight Neighborhood dressed in coordinating forest green “Volunteer Crew – Bloom with Purpose” t-shirts designed by one of the participants. They came to work on a home preservation project for an existing Habitat homeowner’s residence, who is also a former Marine. The team put up siding, built stairs, painted trim, and built the doorway of a first-floor bathroom and bedroom addition.

“It’s great watching my friends come together and my parents are here, too. My dad’s telling stories about the playground he built for my siblings and me,” said Kayla at the build site. Kayla lives in Enfield, Connecticut, but frequently visits Springfield through her work with MassMutual. “I hope to set a trend to allow for folks to think outside of the box when thinking of their next idea on how to celebrate their monumental days such as a birthday.”

Kayla is no stranger to Habitat. She said she began volunteering with the nonprofit organization while she was a student at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut. During her spring breaks, she ventured to a Habitat affiliate, and with college students, participated in a build. To date, Kayla said she’s contributed to the construction of more than 50 homes. When she began working for MassMutual in 2018, she wanted to do a team build and researched local Habitat affiliates. She discovered GSHFH.

“Kayla is very philanthropic,” said Troy Monroe, Kayla’s dad. “She inspires me. She has a giving heart and giving spirit, and to have friends like this, their spirit is contagious.”

Taylor Bradshaw, Kayla’s sorority sister from their days at the University of Connecticut, said while in college, she had volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the Constitution State. She helped frame a house in Willimantic. On May 4, Taylor said she enjoyed working on the Springfield home.

“I like doing something for a veteran. It’s beautiful. Oftentimes, veterans are overseen. It’s nice to give back to someone who gave so much,” she said. “I’ve been painting. It’s nice. I like to stay on the ground.”

To learn more about the veteran benefitting from the project, visit

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