Judy Dare has been volunteering and giving for over 20 years!
Judy Dare is passionate about making her community a better place. In fact, she’s made a second career out of it!
A retired public health nutritionist and community college teacher, Judy has been volunteering with Habitat Tucson for the past 20 years. When she looks back on why, it’s a no-brainer.
“It goes back to our mission statement,” Judy says. “Decent. Affordable. Decent means the roof is not leaking, the toilet is flushing. There are so many people who need some help, and it’s about knowing when we can say yes.”
In her years of volunteering, Judy has noticed how the mission is put into action.
It’s not just constructing new houses, but the chance for hardworking families to learn, side-by-side with their neighbors and family partners, about how to manage their finances and become self-reliant as homeowners.
Judy compares it to a spectacular theatre production. “There you are sitting at this wonderful thing, and you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes,” Judy says. “It’s the same at Habitat.”
As a family partner, Judy Dare has worked behind the scenes in every imaginable way.
Working retail at the HabiStore.
Hammering away on the build site.
Supporting staff at the office.
Making generous gifts.
But partnering with families—walking them through sweat equity, financial classwork, and mortgage payments—was hands-down her favorite part. To this day, she’s still good friends with a family she partnered with almost 20 years ago, and Judy looks forward to seeing their five-year-old daughter she first met back in 2003 graduate from Northern Arizona University this year.
It’s a spectacular feeling, watching the long-reaching impact of her work ‘behind the scenes.’
This year, Judy wanted to take advantage of another way to support Habitat, through her IRA’s required minimum distribution. “If you have contributed during your working years to an IRA, which I did, after the age of 70, you’re required to take a certain number of dollars out every year,” Judy explains. “I will give part of it to Habitat, and there’s a benefit—you can deduct it from your charitable giving.”
The way Judy sees it, giving is an extension of her volunteerism. “I trust Habitat so much,” Judy says. “And the value of a volunteer is giving of your time and money—I’m going to say both. Helping an organization that you believe in—that’s the value of a volunteer.”
Reaching out to others—to make sure all of us in our Tucson community have a chance to thrive—is really what drives Judy. It inspires her to give to Habitat. “I have decent, affordable housing,” says Judy. “So, sure, I could redo my whole kitchen or go on a big trip….or why don’t I give it to Habitat so that they can build a kitchen in a house for a family?”