Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Greg Jipson: Volunteer Hero (Revisited)

We are immensely grateful to our generous volunteers who donate their time across the different spheres of our organization. They are an instrumental part of the Habitat model and we could not accomplish our mission without their help. As the saying goes – many hands make for light work.

Greg Jipson, a native of Bellingham, Washington, has been volunteering in our store’s receiving department for 8 years now. After a 40 year career as an industrial electrician with Intalco, Jipson needed something to do after retirement in 2014.

Greg’s dog, Cody, spends most days with him on the receiving dock.

He recalls, “When I retired, I decided Habitat was a good place to give my time and to do some important work as a volunteer, to keep me busy, to keep me active,” Jipson said. “I discovered Habitat as most people do – I came to shop. I walked through the Store, and one of the Store employees talked to me one day about volunteering. He worked in Receiving and did a lot of pricing of donations.”

Jipson was intrigued. “It sounded like a fun thing to do, the way he explained it. That conversation is what drew me in. One of the benefits for me, in doing this work, besides helping an organization like Habitat that does so much for the community, is that I come across all kinds of unusual items that people donate to the Store for sale.

“There are so many vintage household items and unusual tools. I like the challenge of pricing these older things,” Jipson continued. “The pricing of items is important because Habitat gets a substantial amount of its operating funds through Store sales. I like to help the Store get the right price for every donation, a good price for shoppers and a good price for the Store. It’s a stimulating challenge.”

Here, we get a taste of the benefits that keep Greg coming back every week. For him, the mental stimulation he gets by volunteering keeps his mind active and his days interesting. “My claim to fame, if I can say that, is repurposing items,” he continued. “That’s my new buzzword: ‘repurposing.’ I just love restoring tools that need a little oil or something, maybe they’re just a little rusty. I like getting things like that working again. And then out they go into the Store to customers who will use them!”

“Obviously, volunteering is part of my healthy lifestyle. Habitat is a place where anyone can find big challenges. The Store keeps growing,” Jipson added. “My philosophy is that I have enough. I think people should let themselves be happy,” he says, laughing.

There are many ways to bring affordable housing to our community and every hand makes a difference!

Skip to content