If you know an outstanding Habitat Detroit volunteer, be sure to join in and nominate them for a chance to be recognized on our wall.

Hall of Fame Nomination
Nominee's Name
Nominee's Name
Nominator's Name
Nominator's Name

Ernie Miedema – Long-Time Volunteer

Volunteering with Habitat Detroit arose through my employer Motor City Casino and my participation with the Helping Hands group, along with being a liaison for my church. I enjoy the interaction with the other volunteers, learning new skills, and sharing my skills. I enjoy helping others to achieve their dreams of becoming a homeowners.

I appreciate all of the employees and volunteers at Habitat for Humanity Detroit who care for people in need in the city of Detroit.

Gary Dawes, Long-Time Volunteer & Past Board President

Gary Dawes’ work with Habitat for Humanity began in 1986, when he helped form and then run Saginaw Habitat as its founding President. Since that time, he has served as president of four additional affiliates: Oakland County, South Oakland County, Lenawee County, and most recently here in Detroit for four years. Dawes also served on the board of Habitat for Humanity Michigan for 17 years and twice served as a chairperson there. His work with HFH has brought him to all corners of Michigan and has given him the opportunity to travel the world with trips to South Africa, Georgia, Mexico, and Vietnam.

When asked about his time with HFH, he said “I have helped build more houses than I can remember, and no matter how much I gave to Habitat over the years I always got more back. It has been my honor and privilege to be a part of Habitat these past 35 years.”

Jack Williams, Long-Time Volunteer

We want to celebrate the legacy left behind by our friend and volunteer, Jack Williams, who passed away in 2023. Jack loved his faith, his family, and his power tools. He was an integral member of the Grosse Pointe Partners and wore many hats having served on the board, offering building guidance as a hard-working crew leader, and even pioneering the launch of the Restore in Detroit. Jack’s time and talents invested in the Habitat Detroit mission helped make a significant impact on our neighbors.

Keith Kolodsick, Long-Time Volunteer and Photographer

I started volunteering with HFHD in 2004 with my 2 sons. After the Carter work project in 2005, we realized how much fun and how rewarding volunteering with Habitat was so we decided to reserve the 2nd Saturday of each month for Habitat. That continued for several years and then we increased our commitment to the 2nd and 4th Saturday. I retired in 2009 and Habitat became my “job.”

Bill Ziegler, Long-Time Volunteer

I think the most rewarding and challenging work is on the re-hab houses, particularly the houses that HFH-Detroit bought from the Landbank. There is no end to surprises as the work progresses from sagging floors that need to be addressed to installing new kitchens in old spaces. There is an emerging core group of volunteers that has stepped up to address the unique challenges of these houses. It is very encouraging to me to see the HFHD leadership, core volunteers, and enthusiastic volunteers from the community all working together to deliver on Habitat’s mission to provide safe, affordable housing for qualified candidates.

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.

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.

Jim Garlough, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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