Calling All Volunteers!

Posted by Markolline Forkpa
Hits: 512

Calling All Volunteers!

By Marianne Lynch, Executive Director

I know I have said it before but it bears repeating…Volunteers are the life-blood of our organization. Without them, we would not be able to work throughout the county, serving hundreds of low-income families through homeownership, repairs, revitalization and financial literacy. In fact, last year, volunteers provided more than 6,000 hours of help to our organization.

Six thousand hours is a tremendous amount of hammering and wall-raising! It is also so much more than just being a part of our construction crew. We need volunteers in every aspect of our organization. In fact, let me share some ways that volunteers support Habitat:

In our family services department, volunteers help our families move through the home-buying process. From those who serve on the family selection committee, to the coaches who help the families achieve their sweat equity hours and beyond, volunteers are essential to the homeowner process. They even help set up dedications and provide the goodies served during those wonderful events too. They also help with our financial empowerment class, Almost Home serving as financial counselors, preparing meals for each class, providing child care, and instructing various sessions. Some of our interns (who are volunteering for a semester or a year!) are at the front line of the work we are doing in the neighborhood revitalization areas, creating and compiling survey information and then canvassing each neighborhood so that we can serve these communities better. These interns are also taking their field of study and applying it by streamlining the ways that we process critical repairs, homeowner applications and more.

 

In the ReStore, most of our wonderful cashiers are volunteers, steadily manning their posts each week to help customers, price items and generally keep the store in good order. They are not the only ones who do so…we have many volunteers behind the scenes, cleaning items, moving furniture out to the floor for sale and helping customers bring purchases to their cars. Some of our key volunteers help maintain certain departments like lighting and appliances so that the customers know that items are in good operational order. When we have large groups, we are able to keep our back areas neat and clean so that the store can continue to provide the best “stuff” to our customers.

In our office, volunteers help with entering information into the various databases needed for grants, acknowledgement and more. They help with filing, organizing and answering phones too! They also help us maintain a clean working space that is ready for our customers and guests each day.

Without volunteers, we would not be able to run large events like our annual Gala or Rock the Block. Committees provide much of the planning and coordination necessary to help each of these events be as successful as we can.

Finally, most of you know our volunteers as those that help us rehab and build homes, but volunteers are essential in so many other aspects of construction. From reviewing potential building projects to helping through the development process and providing labor, skilled volunteers are so important to getting projects started and completed on time. They also help with our critical repairs, supporting Caleb, our specialist in each home, installing toilets, replacing drywall, hanging cabinets and so much more.

As you can see, volunteers clearly are the heart and soul of everything Habitat does and without them, we would not be able to accomplish all that we have or will. I hope that you will see from all of the activities listed above that there is a place for anyone thinking about volunteering, whether you can swing a hammer or not. If an activity I mentioned sounds like something you would like to become involved with, the first step is to go to our website and sign up:

http://habitatforhumanityofmontgomerycountypa1.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/ .

There are plenty of opportunities listed, but contact Cara@habitatmontco.org if you don’t see the way you would like to help!

For those who already volunteer, thank you for all that you do! For those who are thinking about it, I can guarantee that you are needed and there is a place for you here with us, whether you can give a few hours occasionally or steady time each week!