Red Hats Pat and Cathy Bring Joy (and Hot Chocolate) to the Work Site

"I have been volunteering for HFH for over eight years. I saw an article in our Church Bulletin soliciting help for Habitat. I thought I might enjoy helping in some way there. Over the years, my husband and I have fixed up the several homes that we have owned, and I realized that I enjoyed doing that. On my first day on the job, in February ’07, it was 17 degrees. I was not dressed warmly enough, and it was a demolition day on the site. I came home that day, very cold and very dirty. People thought I was crazy to go back!"

"I enjoyed learning a lot of new skills from the HFH construction managers on the job, and they always made me feel that I was appreciated, even when I made mistakes. At that time, it was my good fortune to be able to convince my friend Cathy into volunteering with me. We laugh a lot during the days that we work, and some days that’s all I need to forget my sore muscles. An early memory of one of Cathy’s days on the job, was on the women’s build. Not wanting to climb the ladder to the upstairs, we chose to work on the first floor. It was interesting that as the day progressed, it started to snow and all the holes in the roof allowed us all to be covered in snow. We did laugh a lot that day, and as we all learn by experience….we brought a thermos of hot chocolate the next week for everyone, and extra gloves."

"We have seen many neighborhoods transformed in our years together. These include several women’s builds, an entire block on Fayette St, at least 10 houses on Jefferson St which included meeting Jimmy Carter, many houses on Ward St., of course the new homes at Orchard Ridge, and the current renovations going on at McCabe. Cathy and I have seen many changes in Habitat as well over the years. We have seen them expand their spaces, and merge with other counties, into the larger affiliate it is today."

"It is wonderful to work with many young people that are still interested in making a difference in this world by working with AmeriCorps. It renews my Faith that there are still good people that care in making our city a better place to live. I would like to continue to work for Habitat, as long as my body allows me to. Some days it screams at me to quit treating it this way. Some days it is next week for everyone, and extra gloves."-Pat

I have been volunteering at Habitat close to eight years. After retiring from Loyola University, I was looking for something useful to do with my time and my dear friend, Pat, invited me to join her for a day of volunteering at Habitat working on a home in the inner city that was being rehabbed as a women’s build."

"I was intrigued and challenged as I had zero experience in any home or construction repair. I had grown up in Baltimore City and had attended city schools so I looked forward to returning to my roots to contribute what little assistance I could to rebuild neighborhoods in the city."

Eight years later, I still struggle with the construction skills but I have gained so much in seeing the joy and pride in the faces of the families that have worked hard to purchase homes built by Habitat. It is so gratifying to see neighborhoods develop where there once were vacant homes."

"I have worked alongside such wonderful volunteer groups and the AmeriCorps staff have been an inspiration to me as they assist me with my ever-evolving construction skills."

"Most of all, I get to spend a fun day with my friend Pat. Hopefully, we can continue to do our little part in enabling families to own their homes and develop a happy and vibrant cluster of neighborhoods. ” –– Cathy