The couple that leads together

Ilyasah N. Shabazz | July 21, 2016

Terry and Kathie Vermouth began volunteering with Habitat Wake almost a year ago, but their work with Habitat for Humanity goes back 10 years. The Vermouths were introduced to Habitat Wake by their daughter-in-law, who worked for Habitat for Humanity International. Originally from Massachusetts, Terry and Kathie work as House Leaders on construction sites four to five days out of the week. “Things are a lot different here than they were in Massachusetts,” recalls Kathie. “We had to shovel snow before we could build a house.”

Kathie and Terry Terry is retired from Staples Corporate and Kathie is a retired high school nurse. When asked what they do for living, the retired couple now says that they are professional volunteers. Terry; however, is no amateur when it comes to construction. He has spent his life doing home renovations and building projects.  Together, through their work with Habitat, the couple has learned how to teach others.

The Vermouths have participated in Build-A-Thon and alongside Habitat AmeriCorps Members from up and down the east coast.  They’ve also worked with college students from across the country through the Collegiate Challenge program, where students build with Habitat Wake as an alternative vacation break. When they aren’t volunteering, Terry and Kathie enjoy camping and spending time with their dog and their families.

Working with Habitat Wake has given Kathie a new understanding of the housing need. “I always knew the need was there, but I didn’t know specifics,” says Kathie. “It’s a really humbling experience, to work with the families and see their homes come together.”