Meet Gary, Build Volunteer

Meet Gary

Gary has been a dedicated volunteer with Ulster Habitat since the spring of 2018. Since that time he has helped construct 10 Habitat homes! He has become one of our “regular” build volunteers, consistently dedicating his time and skills to our mission. Gary’s expertise lies in lighting and theatre construction, but he has also demonstrated a remarkable ability to learn a wide range of construction skills. His willingness to go the extra mile sets him apart, and we are grateful for the time and effort he invests in each construction project. Though Gary primarily volunteers on our construction sites, because of his dedication to our mission, he can also be found in the ReStore helping with various projects.

The impact of Gary’s volunteer work is far-reaching. Through his contributions, local families are able to experience the joy of homeownership. We sat down with Gary to ask him a few questions about volunteering with us. Read in his own words his experiences with Ulster Habitat.

When did you start volunteering with Ulster Habitat?

I started with cutting plywood for the roof of the first Apple St. house in Kingston, the spring of 2018.

What made you decide to volunteer with Ulster Habitat?

I have worked in theater most of my life, so I had a background in theater construction. I thought it would be a good fit. I have also seen the housing crisis in Ulster County and volunteering in the community is important to me.

Can you tell us what keeps you involved with Ulster Habitat?

I really enjoy learning and practicing the construction techniques. I have had very good teachers both staff and other volunteers at the sites. I have met some really nice people that I enjoy working with. I have seen seven families move into the houses that I have worked on and that gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

Are there any words of advice you would give to others who are interested in volunteering with Ulster Habitat?

We have people of all skill levels at the site and there are always many different projects that need to be accomplished. Come and learn some new skills and practice some old ones with us. We can always use the assistance. Another great thing about working at the site is that it’s very flexible, you can work a half day or full day, work up to four days a week and take time off for travel or other personal reasons.