Editor’s note: In the spirit of our spring Nonprofit Issue, we reached out to volunteers from several local nonprofit organizations, asking them to reflect on what inspired them to begin their work and the impact it has had on both the community and themselves.
Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, locally and internationally, is our retirement passion. We became involved with Habitat 15 years ago when we worked overseas as international educators. Organizing and leading service-learning build trips for students and adults to various countries (15 in total) was enriching. It provided a unique opportunity to work with a local family side by side to build their house, sharing daily routines and cultural insights. Regardless of the country, helping families achieve healthy, stable housing is the ultimate reward, knowing they will have a safe place to live, financial security and a sense of community.
Since moving here in 2010, we have been involved with various volunteer opportunities at Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. It is gratifying to serve as part of such a giving community and alongside like-minded individuals.
For Charlie, being a core volunteer on the construction site, in the ReStore and helping with deconstruction have all provided opportunities to give back, become familiar with community needs and help people realize their dream of homeownership.
For Tricia, involvement in the Women Build program is a rewarding source of empowerment. This program invites women to advocate for affordable housing, raise funds and build in our community. Since 1994, Asheville’s Women Build program has raised over $853,000 and built 17 homes. Work on the 18th Women Build house will begin in July, and volunteers are needed. No experience is required, just an open heart and a willingness to lend a hand.
As educators, developing and implementing the Student Build program has been particularly fulfilling. And being on the board of directors has provided a unique perspective into the numerous programs curated and led by dedicated staff. Habitat is a complex organization with the ultimate goal of providing affordable housing, one family at a time. We are honored to be involved!
For more information about Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, visit avl.mx/bji.