Meet Habitat Volunteers

Our volunteers are at the core of our mission – meet some of the folks who dedicate their time to make a difference!
Nadia S., Corporate Volunteer with Delta Air Lines

"I waited to volunteer until my daughter was out of college and I had some free time to volunteer and lend a helping hand to others."

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Nadia S., Corporate Volunteer with Delta Air Lines

Nadia S., Corporate Volunteer with Delta Air Lines

Nadia S. has lead nine out of the last 10 of Delta Air Lines’ Habitat NYC Build Days – that’s more than 500 hours volunteering with us! What is it that she loves so much about volunteering with Habitat NYC? “Meeting the homeowners and watching them watch the house grow and grow over time.”

Nadia’s first Delta Build with Habitat for Humanity was in India. After that, she caught the building bug – since then she has built in Thailand and Chile, and here in the United States, in Cleveland, Ohio and Mississippi. “I waited to volunteer until my daughter was out of college and I had some free time to volunteer and lend a helping hand to others.”

Her first build in New York City was a memorable one: “I was a part of the first “green roof” building in the Bronx. The green roof building had small plants that we planted on the roof of a large building. I remember pulling dirt up off of the ground and raising it eight stories high! This was nine years ago, and I’d love to go back and see what it looks like now.”

We value Nadia’s impact on our city so much that she is the 2017 recipient of the Corporate Volunteer Habby Award! We’re looking forward to Nadia’s next 500 hours volunteering!

Learn more about volunteering with your company or organization.

Yasaman A., A Brush with Kindness

"Because of Habitat I have a new best friend!"

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Yasaman A., A Brush with Kindness

Yasaman A., A Brush with Kindness

Meet Yasaman: She’s one of the thousands of volunteers who build and preserve housing with us every year. Yasaman was born in Iran, and currently lives in Queens. She is studying to be a forensic pathologist, but always considered a different career, “I always really liked being a construction worker. I enjoy working with my hands. If I wasn’t pre-med I would want to pursue construction.”

Yasaman volunteered with our A Brush with Kindness program in multiple locations – in Brooklyn and in the Bronx. At both locations, Yasaman enjoyed, “working on the super colorful sites and murals; it makes me happy to think I contributed to making the place more cheerful.”

While volunteering, Yasaman even met another aspiring forensic pathologist, and the two became fast friends! “I want to go into forensic pathology and no one at my school is interested in that field and I’d given up on finding someone with the same interests, but while I was painting at the [Bronx] building I met another volunteer named Tracey. First we bonded over both being biology majors, and then during lunch one day I found out she’s also going into forensic pathology! Because of Habitat I have a new best friend!”

Volunteer with us and help to build a better city (and maybe even make a new friend!).

Alex L., Office Volunteer

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Painting a senior center, helping out at a build site, supporting social functions, stuffing envelopes and talking to donors, it all was completely rewarding, and I gained much, much more than I gave.”

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Alex L., Office Volunteer

Alex L., Office Volunteer

A long-time resident of Brooklyn, Alex has been a dedicated Habitat NYC volunteer for more than a decade! He is well-known in our John Street office for his sunny disposition and sense of humor.

Alex had previously volunteered in public libraries and political campaigns, and thought that volunteering for Habitat would help him “stay out of trouble.” Well, we don’t know anything about that, but we do know that his experience in human resources and stock exchange operations made him perfect to work in our Resource Development department, where he collects donor data and corresponds with contributors.

When Alex began volunteering, way back in 2006, processing donor information and keeping track of mail sent to donors was a much more “hands on” task than it is now, and Alex stepped right into the role, eventually working with our digital database and helping out at events.

To those who are interested in volunteering with Habitat NYC, Alex says, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Painting a senior center, helping out at a build site, supporting social functions, stuffing envelopes and talking to donors, it all was completely rewarding, and I gained much, much more than I gave.”

Paul M., Construction Crew Leader

“People should get out there and volunteer!” Paul says, “There’s a lot of retired people out there… even if you volunteer one day a month; that would be phenomenal.”

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Paul M., Construction Crew Leader

Paul M., Construction Crew Leader

Paul is a teacher through and through. He retired from teaching high schoolers biology and now, as one of our most dedicated volunteer Crew Leaders, he now teaches other Habitat NYC volunteers how to use power tools.

After Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, Paul got involved with a few different housing organizations to help repair his neighborhood in Brooklyn, and soon found Habitat’s Critical Home Repair program. He rebuilt homes in the Rockaways and Staten Island, and was hooked. He’s been “Habitating” ever since.

As a Crew Leader, it’s Paul’s responsibility to make sure that other volunteers have a safe, rewarding day on site, and that the volunteers learn something; whether it be how to install insulation or drywall, or just use a screwdriver. He works closely with a few volunteers, showing by example, encouraging, and

“People should get out there and volunteer!” Paul says, “There’s a lot of retired people out there… even if you volunteer one day a month; that would be phenomenal.”

And why volunteer? Paul says, “We need affordable housing in New York City. It’s something really lacking here.”

Ayesha, Elan and Summer B., ReStore Superstars

“It’s such a good learning experience for both of us,” said Ayesha, “and it’s such a good learning experience for both of us. It allows us to spend time together and do something as a mom and daughter team, which is harder and harder these days.”

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Ayesha, Elan and Summer B., ReStore Superstars

Ayesha, Elan and Summer B., ReStore Superstars

Ayesha has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for over 16 years, so she was delighted when her daughter Elan caught the bug too! The two volunteered with A Brush with Kindness, but were looking to volunteer more consistently and at times that would fit in better with school. That’s when they found the ReStore. The ladies volunteer at the ReStore on weekends, and try to get out to the store at least twice a month.

They love being in the store, “Everyone is so welcoming, not just of customers, but of each other,” Ayesha told us. “There is such a sense of community.” The experience of having a retail position is empowering Elan, who is becoming more comfortable approaching strangers and helping others.

“It’s such a good learning experience for both of us,” said Ayesha, “and it’s such a good learning experience for both of us. It allows us to spend time together and do something as a mom and daughter team, which is harder and harder these days.”

The mother-daughter bonding won’t end anytime soon if Ayesha’s younger daughter Summer has anything to say about it! Summer was too young to volunteer with A Brush with Kindness, so now she’s waiting her turn to volunteer at the ReStore.

Ayesha is proud of her girls and their desire to make a difference in the world, and Habitat NYC is proud of all of them for making our mission their own.