"Just a Volunteer"
My name is Nancy Erwin, and I am a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Evansville. My history with Habitat goes back many years, beginning in Georgia, then in North Carolina, and now here in Evansville.
I first became acquainted with Habitat in the 1980’s, when I was asked to prepare the annual IRS nonprofit reports for the Habitat affiliate in Griffin, Georgia. Working with the accounts of the affiliate helped me to understand the way that Habitat works, as houses were built and bought by members of the community. Griffin Habitat did not have any paid staff. Many generous people worked very hard to provide decent, affordable housing to their neighbors.
When I moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2001, I became a member of a church which participated every few years in building a “Presbyterian House” along with several other Presbyterian churches. Under the guidance of the Habitat staff, I helped in many phases of the building. I also participated in the annual “Women Build” in Asheville.
For two years I worked as the Finance Director of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. That experience immersed me in the Habitat mission. The affiliate is building houses in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, and could not operate without the generous support of its volunteers and donors. Another source of income in Asheville is a very large ReStore which sells recycled building materials, household goods, furniture, and books, both in the store and on Ebay. I came to see that no matter how small the contribution, no matter how simple the task, each person serving in the Habitat family makes our dream of adequate, affordable housing for all people just a bit closer to reality.
Now that I am in Evansville, I am enjoying being “just a volunteer” for Habitat. I work as a CPA during the winter and spring, and work for Habitat as I am able for the rest of the year. I work in the office regularly, and enjoy working at the jobsite. I don’t climb up on the roof any more, but enjoy whatever assignment I am given. And I make a cash donation to Evansville Habitat, because I know that there are materials to buy and contractors to pay.
I believe that supporting Habitat for Humanity is a way to show my gratitude for all of the people who have helped me along my life path. I believe that one does not have to be very rich, or particularly mechanical, or even physically strong, to make a difference in our world. I believe in the Habitat process, one in which neighbors help one another to strengthen our community through better living conditions for all.