Volunteer Spotlight: Ebony Carter

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Habitat Volunteer for 6 years
Three words she uses to describe her experience with us: Compassion, Diverse, Community

Meet Ebony, a dedicated volunteer with a passion for behavioral health and mental health, who is committed to making a positive impact in her community. Ebony’s journey volunteering with Habitat began in 2005 when she moved to Indianapolis, seeking to make friends and get involved in her new city. She found that volunteering was an easy way to meet like-minded individuals and connect with the kind of people who share her values and interests.  

One of the key factors that keeps Ebony coming back to volunteer with Greater Indy Habitat is the fulfillment she derives from it. She describes volunteering as something that “fills her cup” with joy. For Ebony, volunteering is a way to connect with a purpose, to meet people who are in the process of moving into new homes, and to witness the transformational impact that Habitat’s work has on families. She is deeply committed to serving underserved populations and fostering inclusivity. One of Ebony’s most cherished memories with Habitat was helping to finish a house for an immigrant family. The family’s overwhelming gratitude and excitement left a lasting impression on her, emphasizing the transformative power of Habitat’s work. 

Ebony’s love for volunteering lies in the connections she forms with people and the sense of fulfillment that comes from helping others. She firmly believes that those with skills and resources have an obligation to give back. Now, Ebony volunteers with her team at work, as a project manager with IU Health. Her journey with Habitat exemplifies the positive impact that dedicated volunteers can have on the world around them, helping to create stronger and more compassionate communities. If you would like to be a part of making that change happen, check out how to get more involved here 

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlight: Tony Roscetti

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Three words to describe his Habitat experience: Rewarding, Empowerment, Trust

Meet Tony, a steadfast volunteer at Greater Indy Habitat, whose passion for giving back to the community knows no limit! Tony’s unwavering commitment to Habitat is driven by the transformation he witnesses with each build site he shows up to. He finds profound satisfaction in observing raw materials, like drywall, paint, and 2x4s, change into safe and welcoming homes for families in need.  

Tony’s journey as a Habitat volunteer reflects a deep commitment to continuous learning. He aspires to become a part of the Tiger Team at Habitat someday, marking his transition from acquiring new skills to enjoying the opportunity to share his skills and knowledge with other volunteers.  

Reflecting on his favorite memory from volunteering, Tony recalls a day at a build site where a diverse group of volunteers, all showing up to volunteer as individuals and not with a larger collective group, spent the day working and bonding over their shared commitment. Their camaraderie extended beyond the volunteer hours, as they gathered at a nearby brewery, underscoring the meaningful connections that volunteering with Habitat can foster. 

For those considering involvement with Habitat, Tony offers valuable advice, emphasizing the importance of flexibility. He highlights that no build site ever goes precisely as planned, and adaptability is key. The camaraderie that is created when every volunteer must join in to figure out a problem together is unmatched. Tony leaves every volunteer day, whether the snow is falling, or the humidity is high, feeling empowered and accomplished. However, the best part is that he gets to see that same empowerment transform the homeowners and their families as they learn and help to build their own home.  

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight: Kurt Backlund

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Habitat Volunteer for 6 years
Three words to describe his Habitat experience: Fulfilling, Challenging, Fun

Kurt is a dedicated volunteer for Greater Indy Habitat who has been making a significant impact on the organization for the last ten years. Through the organizational partnership with Delta Faucet Company, Kurt has volunteered on the build site alongside his team and colleagues to help build homes in our community. Kurt embodies the spirit of volunteerism and community engagement, demonstrating unwavering commitment and enthusiasm towards Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing solutions.  

For Kurt, the draw of volunteering with Greater Indy Habitat lies in the blend of personal fulfillment, teamwork, and community building. He loves the chance to roll up his sleeves and engage in hands-on work, finding immense joy in working alongside the Habitat team, his coworkers, and the future homeowners. One of Kurt’s favorite parts about being a long-time Habitat volunteer is that once he mastered a specific construction skill (like installing exterior trim), he is now able to experience mentoring and helping other volunteers learn those same skills. Beyond the physical aspects, what truly keeps Kurt coming back is the infectious passion, work ethic, and drive exhibited by the homeowners. The homeowners’ unwavering determination serves as a powerful motivator, reaffirming the importance of Habitat’s mission. 

Kurt shares his deep appreciation for the Habitat community, expressing that volunteering on a Habitat build is his favorite day of the year. He eagerly anticipates many more years of volunteering, including perhaps becoming a member of the Tiger Team upon retirement from Delta Faucet! The dedication of volunteers like Kurt showcases the spirit of volunteerism that helps make Habitat thrive. Want to become one of those people? Find out ways to become involved in changing your community.  

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight: Connie Alexander

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Habitat Volunteer for 6 years
Three words she uses to describe her experience with us: Fun, Inspiring, and Meaningful

Let us introduce you to Connie, a committed volunteer for Greater Indy Habitat, who primarily has volunteered with her company, Allegion. Connie had always wanted to volunteer with Habitat but hadn’t had the opportunity prior to her employment in market research with Allegion. As a corporate partner for 15 years, Allegion places a strong emphasis on serving others as one of its core values, making volunteering with Habitat a natural extension of their company. Employees like Connie enjoy contributing to a meaningful cause and connecting with coworkers. 

Like many volunteers, Connie has discovered that volunteering with Habitat is an educational experience, and she always learns something new when on site! Recently, she had the chance to learn and hone a new skill – painting. While painting may seem straightforward, the Construction Team’s expert guidance provided valuable tips and tricks, making the task more manageable.  

One hallmark of Habitat volunteering is adaptability. Connie recalls a memorable experience where their expectations on the build site had to adjust. What was supposed to be a final cleaning day turned into a busy landscaping and sod-laying day. Despite the unexpected workload, Connie and her Allegion team rallied, and everyone embraced the challenge. The typical post-volunteer team socializing plans were replaced with a well-deserved shower! 

Connie proudly wears her collection of Habitat t-shirts around town, saying she’s “extremely proud to be a Habitat volunteer.” Her commitment to making a difference in her community is inspiring and we are grateful for her important role in Habitat’s mission. Interested in getting your company involved and sharing this same kind of experience with your coworkers? Check out how by reading more here 

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlight: Brian Schoen

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Three words he uses to describe her experience with us: Enriching, Community, Justice

Volunteering with Greater Indy Habitat can be an activity for the whole family! Brian Schoen, inspired by his father’s volunteerism through our Tiger Team, started his journey with us in 2010. Since then, Brian’s commitment has grown, contributing over 200 hours of his time on various build sites across our community.

Brian’s dedication to Habitat’s mission goes beyond the numbers. He believes in continuous learning, discovering new insights every time he volunteers. “I keep coming back to volunteer because I still learn something new every time – whether it’s about how much work the homebuyers have to go through in the program before they close on their own house or about how to install exterior vinyl siding,” he shares.

A key takeaway from Brian’s experience is that construction skills are not required. No matter your skillset or level of expertise, we have a place for you. Brian encourages potential volunteers who consider working with us to “Just ‘DO IT’ – even without construction experience. The patient staff will guide you through the necessary skills.

“At the end of the day, the tangible result of seeing what I helped accomplish that day combined with the efforts of all of the other volunteers is the best reward.”

Thank you, Brian, for all your hard work! If you’re interested in joining us as a volunteer, learn more and get involved here.

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

2022 Volunteers of the Year

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Thank you to our dedicated 2022 Volunteers of the Year – Jack Bell, Chan O’Connor, and Keith Nonnenmacher!

Meet our remarkable 2022 Volunteers of the Year – Jack Bell, Chan O’Connor, and Keith Nonnenmacher, whose dedication has set a new standard of commitment at our ReStores. With their countless hours and unwavering enthusiasm, they’ve truly embodied the spirit of giving back. Their efforts in the ReStores have not only enriched our mission but also the lives of individuals in our community. We’re profoundly grateful for their tireless contributions, as they continue to inspire us all to make a positive impact.

2019 Award Recipients

By | Volunteer, Young Professional | One Comment

In place of a large gathering to announce our 2019 award recipients, we opted to surprise each winner with a recognition of their dedicated and outstanding support of Habitat’s mission in Greater Indy. Check out the videos below to hear from each award recipient about why they work diligently to build homes, community and hope!

Congratulations to our 2019 Frank Hartman Volunteer of the Year, Erika Fotsch! Watch the video below to see Erika accept the award and learn more about why she is committed to Habitat’s mission in our city, state, and world.

Congratulations to our 2019 Legacy Corporate Partner, Carrier Corporation! We caught up with Carrier leaders and volunteers on the build site this fall. Check out the video below to discover why they come back year after year (for 25 years and counting!) to support Habitat families in achieving their goal of homeownership.

Congratulations to our 2019 Legacy Church Partner, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church! Many of our partners do more than just volunteer on the build site and St. Mark’s UMC is a prime example of that extended engagement. St. Mark’s long-term commitment to our mission has blessed many first-time homeowners.

Please join us in congratulating each of our incredible 2019 award recipients! 

Meet our 2020 Winter Warriors!

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Spring is officially here and 4 families have become new homeowners thanks to help from our winter warriors! This winter we rewarded volunteers who came out twice between January and March with a Habitat branded beanie. This group of winter warriors braved the crazy Indiana weather and came out to help install flooring, paint indoors and out, and complete a variety of other projects! Check out some photos of our warriors at work below: 

Winter Warrior Banner

Congratulations to the following volunteers for earning #winterwarrior status:

  • Aaron B.
  • Alexis P.
  • Ana D.
  • Andy R.
  • Ashley I.
  • Avion R.
  • Brian S.
  • Bryan A.
  • Collin C.
  • Colton G.
  • Dana G.
  • Dante C.
  • David G.
  • Erika F.
  • Faith F.
  • Gael A.
  • Joe S.
  • Juan G.
  • Karen J.
  • Katherine S.
  • Kyu K.
  • Lucian R.
  • Marco B.
  • Mike W.
  • Nethan I.
  • Nole S.
  • Oscar D.
  • Oscar R.
  • Ray M.
  • Rowan F.

Thank you to our winter warriors and all of our volunteers that helped us build homes, community, and hope this winter 

Advocating for Habitat on the Hill

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Written by Meagan Heber

A few months ago, I was presented with the opportunity to attend the Habitat national advocacy conference, Habitat on the Hill, in Washington, D.C. in February. At the conference, affiliate staff and volunteers from all over the United States join together over several days to talk to their senators and representatives at the Capitol, garnering support for legislation and funding. As a member of Greater Indy Habitat’s Young Professionals chapter who had never advocated in this capacity before, I was excited and very nervous.

To combat my nerves before I left, Joel, Greater Indy Habitat’s Corporate and Faith Relations Coordinator, gave me some advice—

“Be humble, but confident.”

As much as I love Habitat, and as confident as I am in the incredible power a home has to bring hope to a family and revitalize communities, I still felt small and shaky touching down in the midst of a bustling city full of polished and influential people. Why would a representative care about what I have to say? How could a young volunteer from Indianapolis contribute to the important and complex conversation surrounding housing affordability in the United States?

A few days later, after hours of inspiring speakers and an energizing rally with Habitat staff and advocates, I was walking down the steps of the Capital building. When I told my group that I was inexperienced and not the most educated on the statistics and stories that could influence our policy-makers, Gina, Indiana’s State Director, gave me an encouraging rebuke.

“You know plenty,” she said. “You just need to talk about your time with AmeriCorps and how you are pursuing a life of public service.”

I came to Habitat through the AmeriCorps program in 2016, fresh out of college and unsure where life was taking me. For a year, I helped coordinate volunteers, swung a few hammers, and mingled with homeowners, all the while seeing how Habitat raised up homes, supported families, and changed neighborhoods from the inside out. It was because of this incredible experience that I joined Habitat Young Professionals when I moved to Indianapolis, why I dived into the leadership team and got involved, and why I am pursuing a career in community development work.

It’s also why I got on a plane to Washington, nervous and excited to advocate for what I believe in—the power of Habitat for Humanity to change lives. I know that it changed mine!

Joel and Gina’s advice, and the encouragement of so many others, finally came together for me when I stepped into Representative Hollingsworth’s office with Habitat friends from Bloomington and Terre Haute. We had a friendly conversation, and when it was my turn to speak to the Congressman, I shared a piece of my story. I told him how influential AmeriCorps and Habitat had been in my life and how, as a result, I was encouraging other young professionals in Indianapolis to get involved in building affordable homes, communities, and hope.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to raise a voice with so many others on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. I’m excited for the continuation of the incredible work that happens on the ground raising walls and bringing people together. And I’m emboldened—because if even I can be an advocate for this incredible organization, then you can be, too!

Volunteer Spotlight – Meet Brian

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Volunteers make Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities, and hope possible. While many people will build one time through their workplace, church, or civic organization, some keep coming out to the build site to give their time and talent for our homebuyers. These are volunteers like Brian McGreer. Brian receives workplace VTO (volunteer time off) as a benefit and spends many of those hours on a Habitat build site and is also a member of the Habitat Young Professionals chapter. Read more about Brian and his experience as a volunteer below!

Brian McGreer Greater Indy Habitat Volunteer Spotlight

Q&A with Brian:

You are a committed volunteer for Habitat and we are so grateful! What is it about Habitat that keeps you coming back?
“I really enjoy working with fun and kind people to give back to the community. I feel a real sense of accomplishment after a day of volunteering.”

Our volunteers often tell us they learn something new every time they volunteer – whether that’s a Habitat fact or a new skill. What’s something new you have learned while volunteering?
“Put your paintbrush in a plastic bag when you take a lunch break. It keeps the paint from drying in the brush without having to clean it before you’re done for the day.”

If you had to use three words to describe your volunteer experience with us, what would it be?
“Worthwhile, rewarding, and fun.”

What is your favorite thing about being a Young Professional volunteer?
“Helping to stand up the Young Professionals group has given me the chance to meet a lot of great people, and to expand the volunteer base for Habitat to help the affiliate grow.”

What advice would you give to those looking to get involved with Habitat?
“Just do it! Don’t be afraid to volunteer. There are so many different ways to contribute, there’s always something you can do. If you’ve never done the type of work, they’ll teach you. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills while helping your community.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your volunteer experience with Habitat?
“The entire staff of the Greater Indy affiliate is amazing! Seriously, those people rock. They’re so nice, and fun, and good at their jobs. It’s great working with them!”

Thank you, Brian, for all that you do to build strength, stability and independence through homeownership!