“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead

Habitat for Humanity Tucson volunteers dedicate their time, talent and often their treasure to helping local families achieve the dream of homeownership.

Please take some time to read more about our volunteers and why they volunteer for Habitat Tucson. Many of these stories were written by volunteers themselves.

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Amanda McBirnie

Amanda McBirnie recalls her first encounter with Habitat. As a child, she saw a Habitat event featured on television and thought, “I want to be a part of that.” “It was the look on the faces of the people who were getting the homes,” she said. “It was the smiles on their faces, the light in their eyes.” She told her mother, “I want to help people look like that everyday.” Read the rest of Amanda’s story here. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Builder Bob

At the Habitat worksite he is known as “Builder Bob,” he signs the morning log as “BB,” nobody actually knows his last name, but a check of his driver’s license shows his parents named him Robert Schultz. He arrives at work in his Mustang convertible, usually with the top down, his T-shirt emblazoned with “and then God created Bob” full of enthusiasm for the day’s activities… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Dan Francis

Dan Francis is a fascinating man. He is articulate, has a master’s degree in Theater History, taught for many years at prestigious universities, and started his own business as an architectural photographer, all with his wife Stretch at his side. He makes lifelong friends and pursues his passions with…passion. You will find Dan volunteering at Habitat for Humanity Tucson’s Habistore… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Jack Sanders

Habitat Tucson’s construction crews’ occupational skills run the gamut, from doctors to laborers, with teachers, engineers, bankers, farmers, and the military services well represented. The U.S. Air Force has provided several volunteers, with the presence of “Top Gun” jet fighter pilots. One of these elites is Jack Sanders, who spent 30 years in service to our country. An Arkansas native, who graduated from Washington University of St. Louis with a BS in Business Administration, and as an AFROTC participant, Jack followed the Orville and Wilbur legacy of “off we go into the wild blue yonder” Click here to read the rest of this story

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Pat McGoey

Pat McGoey is lively, unassuming, an excellent conversationalist and delightful lunch companion. Twice she suggested that maybe someone else would be more interesting to interview, someone who works on houses. What she doesn’t realize is that she is indeed the perfect person to interview for the Habitat volunteer newsletter. Pat has been volunteering for ten years, working in the office in whatever ways she can… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Dennis Navin

It seems that some of the nicest people volunteer for Habitat. Dennis Navin volunteers at the HabiStore and he is one of the nicest people. He and his wife Ellen moved to Tucson three years ago from Albany, New York. There he worked in the construction field after leaving the military. No school for him…he left that for his wife, who has her Master’s of Education and who worked at Excelsior College as a student advisor. Dennis said, “During the ‘60s in Albany all you had to do was show up at a construction site and they threw money at you!” Click here to read the rest of this story. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Dani Hitchcock

Dani Hitchcock started volunteering with Habitat in 1999 while helping her church, St. Philip’s of the Hills, work on their sponsored house. At that time she was one of the few women who came out to the construction site with her own tools. She claims that she discovered that pounding nails and building walls were great stress relievers. She also had a lot of fun and met some great people while building. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Pat Hirschman

Habitat Tucson (HT): Tell us about yourself. Pat Hirschman (PH): I’m originally from Massachusetts where, I taught Special Education for 9 ½ years. In Massachusetts, I was involved in several volunteer organizations, including The Junior League, Learning Disabilities Assoc., the Conservation Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission. When I got married and moved to New York I started a new career working in the Operations Dept. of a large corporation headquartered in Manhattan… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Rich Marciari

Rich is originally from New York City where he worked for IBM for 30 years. Along with his wife Josephine, Rich first came to Tucson on a business trip where the climate and community won them over, so it was decided that this was where they would move and retire. Rich was finally able to transfer to Tucson 13 years ago and, while still working for IBM, became a part-time volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Three years ago Rich retired from IBM, and this enabled him to become a regular full-time volunteer… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Judy Dare

Habitat Tucson (HT): Tell us about yourself. Judy Dare (JD): I hail from Nebraska and have been in Arizona nearly 40 years. I have a BS in Education from NAU and MPH from ASU. My twin daughters live in California as does my granddaughter, Sarah. (Sarah enjoys volunteering at the HabiStore when she visits in Tucson.) My son lives in Tempe. I retired as a Public Health Nutritionist and Teacher when I moved to Tucson 13 years ago. Retirement has given me time to participate in numerous organizations in Tucson including Tucson Clean and Beautiful, VOICES, Inc., Old Pueblo Trolley, WAMO, and El Presidio Historic District Neighborhood Association. I am active in the Unitarian Universalist Church. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Jim Brohaugh

Like so many of our Habitat Regulars, those loyal construction volunteers who can be counted on to be at any given build site on any given day throughout the year, Jim Brohaugh has morphed in and out of several diverse careers before he came to Habitat. Growing up in Montana near Yellowstone Park, he remembers family trips with his big brother Don, to watch the bears forage through the garbage dumps. Perhaps that is when he began to develop his very own unique sense of dry humor, wit, and imagination. Those qualities, plus his talents as a homebuilder/ carpenter/woodworker, make Jim fun to be around. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Jan Hoffman

In the mid 80s, several families were transferred around the country by IBM. Jan’s husband, Art, was a part of this temporary “transfer migration”, so the family moved from Poughkeepsie, NY to Tucson in 1987. In the early 90s, when other IBM employees chose to return to “home”, the Hoffman family decided to remain in Tucson. They felt that since Art’s job required frequent travel, remaining in Tucson would be less disruptive for their teenage children. Once the children were grown and gone, Jan and her husband decided to move to the western part of Tucson and soon became immersed in… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Dave Bezaire and Susi Havens-Bezaire

Dave Bezaire and Susi Havens-Bezaire are extreme examples of how deeply volunteers can become infected with “habititus”. From a start in Columbus, Ohio 20 years ago, their work has expanded to encompass Michigan, Mississippi, Arizona, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mexico, Guatemala, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Ecuador and – coming up this summer – Botswana. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Ginny Glab Schultz

In November 2003 Ginny Glab Schultz and her husband Bob decided to volunteer in their new community. They had moved to Tucson a year earlier from the Rochester, NY area. Her work experience in human services had given her some knowledge of the Habitat for Humanity organization so it sounded like a good fit since Bob had lots of construction experience. She called; they were signed up and attended an orientation that was scheduled the next day. Within the week they were both involved in their own areas of interest… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Phil Hotep

Almost any day of the week, Phil Hotep can be found working hard at one of Habitat Tucson’s construction sites. After making a leisurely stop at the HabiStore to drop off various supplies one day, Phil chose to get further involved, a decision that has definitely paid off. His collaboration with the organization, which began about a month ago, has allowed him to meet people with diverse employment backgrounds, experience a new field of work, and lend his dedication to an incredible cause… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Penny Pederson

Penny Pederson has been building with Habitat for Humanity for twelve years, yet her interest in construction began long ago. She recalls that at age five, “When we wanted to play house, I would make the house.” She quickly realized that the world was brimming with tools like popsicle sticks, cigar boxes, wet sand, bent nails, discarded string, magnifying glasses and crayons… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Zac Cooke

Like many teenagers, Zac Cooke was eagerly awaiting his sixteenth birthday. The age sixteen meant that he could obtain his driver’s license, yet that was not the only privilege he was excited about. It is also the age when one can start volunteering for Habitat. Following in his father’s footsteps, Zac spends a lot of his free time volunteering. In spite of his busy schedule, Zac has already put in over a hundred hours with Habitat. “It helps that my dad would dedicate his Saturdays when I was growing up. I remember wanting to go with him.” Click here to read the rest of this story

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David Boe

David Boe and his wife are winter residents of Tucson who are usually headed north by Easter. Yet whether David is in Tucson or back in his home in Minnesota, every Tuesday and Thursday he is with Habitat. He notes that there are few differences between the two affiliates, such as landscaping. “In Minnesota, we have grass,” he chuckled. Other differences are simple details of design such as stucco instead of siding, and tile roofs verses asphalt shingles. David points out that regardless of the differences, once you’re inside, it still feels like a home. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Bill Scott

Bill Scott is not a man who likes to stay still for long. One of his bicycling shirts is emblazoned with the bright colors of a roadrunner, a definite reflection of Bill’s energetic character. Bill meets with a handful of close friends near Catalina highway several times a week. The men cycle for several hours before sitting at a local coffee shop where they often discuss sports and politics. They have conflicting views occasionally, but that doesn’t stop them from voicing them. “We can agree to disagree, and still walk away friends.” Bill said that his wish for the world is that everyone else could do the same. Click here to read the rest of this story

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Jim Fitzsimmons

During the 28 years that Jim Fitzsimmons served in the U.S. Air Force, he completed over 200 combat missions in Viet Nam. His military career has allowed him to fly a variety of aircraft to a variety of places. Currently he spends most of his time on the ground, although he’s willing to hop on a plane any chance he can. After all, one of his mottos is “to fly is to die for.” He makes good use of his time while he’s on solid ground by volunteering with Habitat in Tucson and up-state New York. Jim began working with Habitat over fifteen years ago and, although the organization has grown considerably since then, he says that one thing has remained the same… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Nancy Pfafflin

Nancy Pfafflin has been working with Habitat for about a decade, answering phones, filing paperwork and greeting the staff and guests. Recently she has become involved with the curriculum committee for homeowner education classes. Nancy’s professional background involves education as well as personal financial management. “Many of the guest speakers are experts in their fields, and aren’t always accustomed to speaking to an audience whose English is fairly basic,” Nancy said.She admits that many of us… Click here to read the rest of this story

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Brent Tremblay

Habitat Tucson (HT): Are you from Tucson? If not, where are you from? Brent Tremblay (BT): Born and raised in Tucson. HT: Where are you going to school? BT: I attend the University of Arizona and I am currently a senior. I am majoring in Public Management and Policy with a minor in Business. HT: How did you become an intern with Habitat Tucson? BT: Part of my requirement to graduate is… read the rest of Brent’s interview Click here to read the rest of this story