Q: What is your role at COHFH?
A: In 1998, I volunteered one day a month and mostly did filing. In 2006, I decided I wanted to volunteer every week, and I started sending thank you letters to people who made donations to us. But through the years, my job has morphed into the new things I’ve taken on, and others have gone away. Now I do a little bit of everything. I take care of the database monthly reports and reconcile inventories for the ReStores. I also handle parts of the website, make sure all our contractors’ insurance certificates are current.
Q: Share your most memorable time volunteering with COHFH
A: The thing I love most about volunteering is that when I decided to increase my volunteer hours, I wanted a job. I didn’t want to get paid for it, but I wanted a job. I told Ann I didn’t want to come in and go around asking people if they had something for me to do, so I said, ‘Ann if you can give me a job that I can show up and be responsible for, I will show up.
Q: Why do you continue to volunteer with the organization?
A: The fact that Ann gave me a job and would trust that I would show up and do it was important to me. I come every week, and it feels good. I still have a job that I’ve worked at for years, but volunteering is different; it isn’t about me. This is about helping other people. I find that by taking on this job, I feel as fulfilled as I do at my other job. It’s different, but it’s rewarding, even without a paycheck.
Q: What do you love most about COHFH?
A: It feels like a family. Employees may come and go, but it still has a feeling of family. They are nice enough to include me as a volunteer as part of their family. I also like the respect they always show prospective homeowners.
Q: How has Habitat evolved over the years?
A: Habitat has always built houses that fit into the neighborhood in which they are built, but they are definitely nicer today than they were 20 years ago. The houses have much more personality than they used to. They used to be kind of little boxes. Not to say that the houses were not nice back then, but the times have changed, and we have changed with them.
The other thing I really like about Habitat is that for the longest time, I never left the office without them saying thank you. I still never leave the office without feeling like they’re thankful I came. I’ve been here for so long that they may not say it every time I leave now, but they always show me they care and appreciate me.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: Ann is a force to be reckoned with. I have trouble imagining where Habitat is today without her in the leadership role. She has always had a staff that really cares about the impact Habitat has on people’s lives and is proud of their contribution to the process.