Receiving Room Mr. Fix-it
I volunteer with Habitat because I like to fix things and it seems like a good fit. I volunteered at a food pantry for six years and I like how people can come and go and get what they need here too.
I feel that volunteering here is my job. I meet my neighbors more and bring stuff from the ReStore if they need it. If someone were considering volunteering here, I would tell them that I recommend it. It’s a good place with good people. In my spare time I enjoy woodworking and blacksmithing class.
Mostly I’m just retired. If I had a super power I guess I’d reverse aging. I never thought about it much.
Receiving Room Volunteer
Joe Pongratz is well suited to volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and Restore; he knows the importance of helping families become homeowners, and he’s committed to keeping reusable, recyclable, and repurposable items out of the landfill. In addition to fulfilling those goals, Joe says working at ReStore has enhanced his sense of community. “It’s fun seeing donors and customers at the store, then running into the same people out on the street. For me, working at ReStore has been a completely positive experience. I would tell anyone considering volunteering with Habitat to come in with an open mind and an open heart in order to experience all you can.”
So what does a committed environmentalist do when he isn’t volunteering at Habitat? There’s quite a list: travel, mountain biking, backpacking, photography, and oh yes, volunteering with other non-profits like Zero Waste.
When asked what he’d choose for his super power, Joe’s answer was unexpected but logical: “I wish I could eat and digest plastic. There’s just too much of it.”
Kurt Holmgreen started volunteering with MacHabitat in 2015 and he was an out of the blue blessing! He showed up in the office one day asking to volunteer and already, after only one year with us, he is an integral part of our “regular crew”. When asked why he chose to volunteer with MacHabitat, he said, “I have always believed in giving back to the community.” Kurt has lived a life in example of that, retiring after serving 34 years with his local fire department.
Kurt got involved with Habitat through his brother-in-law who is a regular volunteer in Sisters, OR. When asked how he interacts with his community differently as a MacHabitat volunteer, Kurt replied, “It has broadened my perspective of different people coming together. I love to see different people sharing their skills and their backgrounds with one another.”
Kurt councils prospective volunteers interested in construction to, “Look at the end result of who the home is for. Don’t be concerned about not having the right skills because we all learn new skills every day we are out there. “
Besides volunteering with us, Kurt loves to camp and spend time with his family. He is also often found playing volleyball, basketball, and working with clay sculpture and watercolors. An art minor in college, Kurt is a visual person, something that can be seen at the construction site as he often makes small drawings before starting a project! When asked what super power he would choose if he could, Kurt thoughtfully said,” I would wish I could bring cohesion to groups. We are all too divided to really get to know one another. I would like to be able to have people get along and all learn to enjoy each other’s company.”
Thank you for your service, Kurt. We love having you as a volunteer!