Church volunteers become leaders on construction site

November 11, 2015

For Amy and Joel Huenaman, volunteering with Habitat Wake is entirely different from their first time, two decades ago.

“Our first time volunteering we were in Cary and we spent most of our time in ‘stand around mode’ trying to figure out what to do, says Joel. “Now that we are more experienced we need less direction; we are able to take more initiative”

The industrious couple first learned about Habitat for Humanity through their church, Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian. Now Amy and Joel have regularly worked as volunteers for 2 years.

Amy and Joel Huenaman In addition to volunteering for Habitat Wake, the couple volunteers with other groups in their church, but agree that there is something special about serving as Habitat volunteers. “I enjoy working alongside homeowners because I feel like we’re making them happy”, says Amy. The couple has also developed close relationships with other volunteers; “We’ve built friendships with them, and in many ways they have become like family,” she remarked.

At the construction site, Joel admired Amy’s siding work. “We both know a lot about construction now,” he said, “We specialize in boxing and siding, but we’ve done some decon as well.”

Volunteering has not come without some challenges however. Joel and Amy laughed as they recalled their first time volunteering. “Our first time was in Cary and it was really cold! It was February and we dug footing by hand,” said Joel. “I don’t ever want to do that again”, he remarked with a smile.

Joel is currently employed part-time as an office assistant for Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian and Amy works part-time as an administrative assistant for Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network (WIHN). Amy and Joel have since invited other church members to join them volunteering on construction sites.

When asked what it is like volunteering for Habitat, Joel replied, “People choose to come to Habitat and volunteer. I don’t know what it’s like on regular construction sites, but Habitat ones are generally always happy places.”

The couple feels that volunteering with Habitat has been enriching and entertaining. When asked if they’d continue to volunteer in the future, they both unhesitatingly replied “Yes”.

-- Editor's Note: Chauncey Bowden, Habitat Wake intern, wrote this story about Amy and Joel.