Next week, 14 individuals will pack their bags with work clothes and boots and travel to Asheville to build houses for families whom they have never met. While tourism in Asheville is growing, the city is also quickly becoming a hot volunteer destination. After four weeks of hosting Collegiate Challenge trips (think alternative spring break for students), Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is preparing to host an impressive Habitat for Humanity Global Village Team. Get ready to be inspired; this volunteer team is stacked! Some participants are building in memory of a loved one, others are coming to bond with family members, and all of them are coming to do good. While they hail from Florida, Wisconsin, New York, and other states, many of them have spent much of their lives living abroad.
Global Village is a program through Habitat for Humanity International that provides volunteers from all over the country and the world the opportunity to make a difference in another community. As timing is everything, the team coming next week couldn’t have planned it any better. Not only will they experience the “usual” agenda items of working on the construction site, having dinner with a Habitat partner family, and getting to do some sightseeing, but they will also attend both a Habitat house “kickoff” event and a Habitat home dedication two days later. Did we mention that they’re also here during National Volunteer Appreciation Week?
This Global Village trip is organized and led by local Habitat core volunteer, Charlie Franck. He and his wife Tricia spent their careers in education working in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kenya and Egypt. They have participated in and led many Global Village Trips over the years, where they met many of the people who will be joining next week’s team. One friend and participant, who had heard stories about the Franck’s Global Village Trips for years wrote, “This is my opportunity to experience the thrill and challenge of giving back.” He has waited 30 years to participate in a Global Village Trip.
A few more interesting facts about the team members:
- They have participated in a combined 55 Global Village trips and six Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Projects!
- There are four families participating together on this trip.
- One participant has run in seven marathons, including three NYC Marathons.
- One participant serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, PA and another serves on a Board committee for HFH of Philadelphia’s ReStore.
- One participant is on staff at Habitat for Humanity Twin Cities.
- One woman is an Oncologist at the University of Wisconsin, and one man is a student at the New School in New York studying Culture and Media.