For retired episcopal priest John Kitagawa, volunteering at Habitat was a natural way to put his faith into action. “I never thought Christianity was a spectator sport,” he says. “It’s about loving your neighbor in concrete ways.”
His wife Kathy couldn’t agree more. Since 2001, John and Kathy have been regular fixtures at the Habitat Tucson build site. Every week, you’ll find them hammering away, expertly using power tools, signing folks in for builds, taking stunning photos of the build site, or helping new homebuyers and volunteers get acclimated.
They find the work empowering, satisfying, and a way to put their faith and social justice activism to work. Plus, it was fun!
John served on the Board, Kathy served on committees, and both of them befriended many other ‘Habitat regulars’ on the build site. When John needed coronary bypass surgery in 2019, his fellow ‘regulars’ were there for him during rehab and recovery. Kathy knew that when John returned to the build site, the team would look after him. “He was in good hands.”
For as long as they’ve been volunteers, they’ve also been donors. Their desire to give—of their time, talent, and treasure—comes from the same place. “It takes both to get the job done,” John says.
For John and Kathy, home is a place to welcome other people. To gather together and to share with one another.
“Every time I went to a dedication,” Kathy says, “I saw how much of a foundation home is to the rest of our lives.” John agrees, saying, “Home is where we nurture one another.”