Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) recognized its “core” Construction Services volunteers with a breakfast event at Warren Wilson College this week. Core volunteers are those who help Habitat build and repair homes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Last year, these core volunteers helped Asheville Area Habitat build 14 new Habitat houses in Swannanoa, Shiloh and West Asheville. They also repaired 33 existing homes in Buncombe County.
In 2014, 74 core construction volunteers collectively contributed more than 16,000 hours of service to Asheville Area Habitat! To put that in perspective, last year 1,700 individuals volunteered on a construction site, collectively providing a whopping 35,000 hours of service! 46% of those total hours (16,000 hours) were completed by just 74 individuals - the “core” volunteers!
Among this core group, were 10 individuals who contributed more than 300 hours and one who topped the scale at more than 600 hours! Habitat congratulated and thanked:
CJ Obara 640 hours
Dick Allen 622
Ken Clark 454
Bob Laveck 424
Jerry Ray 407
Bill Reid 343
Ray Ducharme 321
Kevin Cox 316
Ross Akin 315
Paul Finegan 309
In total, 32 core construction volunteers were recognized for contributing more than 250 hours of service last year, each receiving a golden hammer to signify the milestone.
Habitat also recognized those who hit significant longevity milestones. The honorees were:
10 Year Award – Alan Lang and CJ Obara
15 Year Award – Ted Faber and Cliff Joslin
“While these folks don’t volunteer for the recognition or the accolades, we feel it’s important to thank them and honor the immense contribution they make to our organization and the community at large.
Without volunteers - especially the cores who we can count on week after week - we would not be able to build and preserve communities,” notes executive director Lew Kraus.
In addition to Construction volunteers, Habitat utilizes volunteers in the ReStore, administrative office and on committees. These volunteers are recognized in separate appreciate events. Collectively and across the entire organization, nearly 2,100 volunteers contribute more than 64,000 hours to Asheville Area Habitat in 2014.
With a volunteer hour valued by Independent Sector at more $21/hour, this equates to a “gift” of more than $1.3million. Volunteer labor helps keep construction costs low and houses therefore affordable to the families who purchase them (from Habitat). Kraus added, “The Habitat model only works with a strong volunteer component. We cannot overstate the value of volunteers to our organization.”
To learn more about volunteering with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, visit ashevillehabitat.org and click the Volunteer button, or call 828-251-5702.