National Volunteer Week Spotlight on Greg Raash

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In celebration of National Volunteer Week (April 23-29), we are thrilled to highlight some of our awesome build site volunteers who help build homes and hope everyday! Greg Raash has dedicated himself to the Habitat mission all over the world and we are proud to say he began his journey with our affiliate back in 2000. Greg is one of our beloved retiree volunteers, whom we affectionately refer to as our “Rusty Nails.”

Here is Greg’s Habitat LA story.

Working for Habitat LA meets me at so many different levels.

Organizationally: Not only do I like what Habitat LA does (the Habitat LA Mission), but I like how they do it.

Professionally: I am an engineer, recently retired, and am not ready to sit back and watch TV all day. Habitat LA offers me the opportunity to be continually challenged, learning new skills, and the team doesn’t laugh (very much) at some of my silly questions or ideas.

Physically: I love the hard work 2-3 days a week. I love working outdoors, having spent most of my career on airplanes or behind a desk.

Socially: The esprit de corps amongst the team is super. The Habitat LA staff has a great sense of humor (and they don’t take themselves too seriously), while at the same time they take their work and their responsibilities very seriously.

My favorite thing about volunteering with Habitat LA is the work I get to do. I have been working at the Bellflower site for about 2½ months. I have loved everything asked of me – from laying 2nd floor decking

Greg Raash, Volunteer since 2000

Greg Raash, Volunteer since 2000

and framing/standing walls, to rolling trusses and roof sheeting. (But please don’t give me a paint brush, I’d rather clean latrines!) There hasn’t been a day yet that I haven’t enjoyed.

I have been volunteering with Habitat since 2000. In early 2001 my family and I moved to Chile where I served on the national Board of Directors for Habitat and my wife and I led several 7-10 day builds in Caldera, Northern Chile (mostly remodels). In 2004, we moved to New Zealand, where I again served on the Board of Directors and participated in many builds on the North Island. My wife, Debi, led an all-women Blitz Build where they built a complete house in five days! Having now returned to the US, I have started back with Habitat LA, volunteering 10-12 days per month since February 2017.

There are other charitable organizations that I volunteer with from time to time, but none have been as rewarding and enjoyable as Habitat LA.