Press release from Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity:
With volunteers central to its business model, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is recognizing milestones and thanking volunteers with small gifts and treats daily during National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 15-21).
Whether swinging a hammer at the construction site, fixing a floor on a home repair project, accepting donations at the ReStore, answering phones in the office, or serving on a committee, volunteer action directly impacts Habitat’s ability to serve more individuals and families in need of safe, stable, and affordable housing.
Last year, 2,100 volunteers contributed 67,400 hours of service – a value of more than $1.67 million (according to Independent Sector)! Another way to look at it: the hours contributed by volunteers equates to having an additional 32 full-time staff members!
Thanks to the dedication of volunteers (and donors and advocates), Asheville Habitat directly served 87 families in 2017 through homeownership, home repair, and tithe programs.
HOME IS THE KEY to unlocking opportunities for educational and employment advancement, health improvements, financial stability, the ability to age in place, and so much more. “Every hand makes a difference and Habitat is grateful for the commitment of all volunteers, whether they help one time or once a week, for the first time or for many years,” said Andy Barnett, Executive Director.
Speaking of longevity, a number of core volunteers (those who make a weekly or bi-weekly commitment) reached noteworthy service milestones in 2017:
- Construction volunteers Dick Allen and Tom Wolff reached the 15 year service mark, as did ReStore volunteer Beth Robrecht.
- Jack Witzel (Construction) and Lee Fadden (ReStore) have both been volunteering with Asheville Habitat for 20 years.
- Paul Finegan (Construction) celebrated 25 years of service with Habitat! During that time, he has worked on 280 Habitat homes, personally helping 416 adults and 638 children build brighter futures on the foundation of safe, stable housing.
Some fun facts about Asheville Habitat’s volunteer program:
- In 2017, through programs such as Global Village, Thrivent Builds Worldwide, and Collegiate Challenge, as well as the signature “Before the Jam, Lend a Hand” volunteer event, Asheville Area Habitat hosted volunteers from 32 different U.S. states and 3 countries!
- It takes 1,650 hours of volunteer labor to build one Habitat house.
- Asheville Habitat utilizes about 140 volunteers in the ReStore each week.
- A team of 12 volunteers traveled to Guatemala to work with Habitat. They installed Healthy Home Kits, a program that Asheville Habitat’s new coffee program supports.
- Core volunteers (those who volunteer on a weekly or bi-weekly basis) contributed 50% of total volunteer hours last year!
Together — as volunteers, donors, sponsors, and ReStore supporters — Asheville Habitat helps address the region’s affordable housing crisis and providing opportunities for families to build better futures. “The magic in what we do is the active part of our mission – bringing people together,” said Barnett during a volunteer appreciation event earlier this year. “For 35 years, Asheville Habitat has united people around a common vision, a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Together, we have helped 500 local families build strength, stability and self-reliance on the foundation of safe, decent homes.”