ANNE ARCHER, Habitat For Humanity Detroit Volunteer
I started volunteering in the late 1990’s. Our church is a member of the Grosse Pointe Partners, so we would sign up to build walls in the warehouse, paint walls in nearly finished homes, landscape and whatever else was needed. In 2005, I was honored to to work with many fabulous people during the Jimmy Carter Build in Detroit. The Grosse Pointe Partners co-sponsored a house. It was a very hot week-hammertime started at 7:30 AM and we got home close to 6 each evening. I think that week was what tugged at my heart to work with this organization. 30 strangers came together to work on a common goal of providing safe and affordable housing. On the last day there I realized that we had become a family! Due to physical limitations, I chose to work at the Jane Street office in 2012 where I became involved in the Volunteer and Community Development Department. To say we had fun would be an understatement! Every person, no matter their job title was committed to the organization! I don’t have any particular life-changing reason as to why I volunteer, but I do have a saying on my desk-”Work for a cause, not for applause/Live life to express, not impress.
Scot Norris, Long-Time Volunteer
Many of the Habitat volunteers have the luxury of volunteering for Habitat, and you get to meet people that you’d never meet in your day-to-day life. That’s both on the volunteer side and the homeowner side. It strips away people’s differences, you know. Everybody is looking for a place to live that’s nice. Everybody is looking for a good school for their kids. Everybody needs enough to eat. In that sense, it’s humbling that you can say that what we have in common is a lot more than what makes us different. We might listen to different music, and we might worship different, but it still comes down to seeing what basic needs our people have and the little way that you can contribute to making their life better.
Jack Frakes, Long-Time Volunteer
You get a lot more out of [Habitat] than you ever put into it. It’s well worth doing. The camaraderie of all the volunteers is very high. It was always a pleasure to donate time. I wish I had done it earlier in my career, but I’m glad I did it when I did. It was a wonderful 20 years or so. I’m obviously not capable anymore of doing the Habitat work, but I still support the organization.
Jim Garlogh, Long-Time Volunteer
For us old guys, we remember when it was like this before but so many people just don’t have access to a home of their own, and at least in a traditional fashion it’s one of the ways in which people can accumulate some sort of base of wealth. In our history as a country, owning land and owning property and owning a house was the symbol of if you hadn’t made it at least you had a place to stand that was pretty solid. That may be a little bit different with the current generation and with the way the world is changing, which is rather radical, but I think that still for many people if they can have a house, and if they can afford to stay in that house, and if they can keep that house, it’s a… it’s a permanence that they’ve never had before – and to me, that’s incredibly important.
George Gray, Long-Time Volunteer
I have many fond memories from volunteering my favorite of which are the blitzes that we were doing in 2010 thru 2015 where we seemed to have hundreds or more volunteers working on many houses on the same day and how much was accomplished”…” Habitat is providing affordable houses and the necessary education for ordinary people to obtain not only a house that they can make into a home for their family but to feel good about themselves.
Joe Newland, Long-Time Volunteer
We want to celebrate the legacy left behind by our friend and volunteer, Joe Newland. Although Joe passed away in 2021, he left a lasting impact here at Habitat. If you ever worked with us on one of our build sites, you would have known Joe by his cowboy hat hard hat and his custom porch construction. He desired for each homeowner and their house to feel special and unique. Joe also took special care to be sure volunteers were safe, informed, and had fun while volunteering with us. We miss Joe dearly but feel immeasurably grateful for the legacy he left.