“Not many people realize that volunteering has changed my life too. It has definitely enhanced my life,” Pat says.
Pat Hirschman has been volunteering with Habitat Tucson for 13 years—on the construction site, as a family partner, on committees, and serving on the board. She’s a warm, familiar face and one of our treasured ‘regular’ volunteers.
When Pat started out volunteering in 2008, she was looking for a way to help out her local community. However, as time went on, she found herself performing all kinds of tasks and eventually she had her own office within the Habitat building.
What motivates her to keep coming back is knowing that she’s doing her part in making a difference in her community.
Pat has formed special, lifelong bonds with other volunteers at Habitat. “We as Habitat volunteers, and as the staff, all have a special gene in us,” she says. “I call it the ‘giving and the sharing gene’ that cannot always be seen at other organizations.”
Pat can also be found volunteering alongside her husband, Peter. The two have been married for 42 years and have spent much of their retirement volunteering with Habitat. The two are originally from the East Coast, and owned an art importing company in Manhattan, but when they finally came to Tucson, they knew this is where they wanted to call home.
“We fell in love with Tucson many years ago and it was just great to leave the snow shovels and the lawn mower behind,” Pat said. “After visiting once, I knew I could spend the rest of my years here and never get tired of it.”
She decided to volunteer with her husband because she wanted to keep her schedule full and lively during retirement, while also supporting her community. Volunteering at Habitat Tucson allowed her to do both. “All of this keeps me really, really busy and I feel like I have something to contribute,” remarks Pat. “I love it.”
But Pat’s favorite aspect of being a member of the Habitat community is seeing a family’s life transition in just a matter of months.
“I mean the families truly evolve and they grow and they take on more responsibility because they are going to be a homeowner. It’s an amazing sight to see.”
Family partners are not the only ones who benefit from this relationship. Pat exclaims that volunteering has tremendously impacted her life in a positive way.