What Does It Mean to Build the HYP?
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Volunteers of the Month
Each month, we spotlight one (or more) of our volunteers who have really rocked at the whole volunteering thing.
So sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up with our latest volunteer (and what events are coming next)!
Our July Volunteer of the Month is Cassandra Dahm! A Habitat veteran with experience in both Seattle and Habitat Hawaii, Cassandra keeps coming back to us because of HYP’s welcoming group atmosphere. She likes getting to know the other volunteers and developing new skills.
Cassandra volunteers with HYP because she appreciates the vision and operational structure of Habitat for Humanity. “I think what Habitat does and how they do it is executed very well,” she says. “I like their homeownership program where they have elements of teaching the homeowner house maintenance and assisting them with the various aspects of responsible homeownership.”
When not volunteering with HYP or attending our happy hours, Cassandra works with an administration team at a non-profit trust providing health and retirement benefits for Union Carpenters. Her favorite HYP memory involves a pick axe… “We developed a close bond,” she says. “It was really fun!”
This month, we would like to honor Jamie Yengel and Ed Kwitek as our June Volunteers of the Month! When asked what got them interested in HYP, they responded that they wanted to give back and help others in the community.
Jamie, who works as an architect, says that HYP is a “special kind of fun – one that makes you feel awesome even after the build when you have to walk awkwardly due to the discovery of muscles not usually used while pushing paper at the office.” Moving around “awkwardly” seems to be the theme with Jamie and Ed; their favorite HYP memory happened during a build and “when moving rocks, we found ourselves in an analogous position as the rocks were also moving us. It was a very moving moment.” Sounds like it!
Meet Kendra and Mary Nickel-Nguy, a law clerk and social worker who moved to Seattle in June, 2012 and very quickly got involved with HYP. After finding us on Meetup, the two ladies signed up for their first build and got a taste for the HYP life after spending a day painting and building a patio. “We love hanging out with the other volunteers, staff and future homeowners, learning how to do home improvement projects, and most importantly, we get see happy families in their homes. All of this keeps us coming back,” says Kendra. When asked what their favorite HYP memory was, Kendra and Mary replied, “The time we put up siding on a house. By the time we were done, we were so sore we could barely lift our arms for a week! That day, we got to work alongside the new owner, other volunteers, and Habitat staff. We spent the day working, sharing stories, and building a positive memory of how amazing the people in the Habitat community really are.”
Daryl Gross, database programmer with the Human Resource Data Warehouse Group at Boeing and a HYP volunteer, built with Habitat for Humanity on the East Coast for several years but recently joined up with HYP here in Seattle. His first experience with HYP was in December, 2012 when he carpooled with other young professionals to the site in Federal Way where they moved equipment from one completed build to a new build site. He has been at every monthly build and happy hour since. and has even gotten his friends involved.
Daryl volunteers with HYP because it “changes the lives of the people who will make homes of the houses [Habitat] builds.” His favorite HYP memory is when he attended last month’s house dedication. “The joy and gratefulness of the new homeowner and her children was very moving. It was obvious that the hours and sweat that HYP and other volunteer groups spent there will have a profound impact on the lives of that family. That is just cool!”