Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Randy Scobee: Volunteer Hero

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.

Randy Scobee is with us at the construction site nearly every Wednesday and Friday, and is regarded by many as a sort of court jester on site. As a result, he couldn’t help but crack a few jokes during this interview. His jokes and lighthearted attitude, however, don’t detract from his craftsmanship. His work may be one of the only things on site he takes all that seriously!

Randy started volunteering with us way back in 2002 and has accumulated over 2,300 volunteer hours since then. He was seeking a place to volunteer and give back to his community and found Habitat for Humanity. He was moving a state over soon and recalls, “I thought when I went to Idaho I would have some time to do that, so I thought I’d get a head start here, and I did.”

Although our volunteers generally participate in every phase of construction, many have a favorite job. Some were carpenters before retiring, others know a lot about plumbing, but Randy isn’t one of these volunteers. In his own words “I love everything. There isn’t anything I don’t like…actually I don’t like hanging sheetrock.” He laughs, “That’s not fun. But that’s about the only one.”

Randy (right), alongside a few of his construction comrades.

For Randy, the main attraction to volunteering is the comradery that he feels with his fellow volunteers. When asked about his favorite moments from all those years of volunteering, he thinks of his fellow volunteers rather than himself, saying, “The stories people have, you know, about themselves and about their families. [The stories from] the future homeowners, it’s fun to hear about that, and it’s fun to see them.”

Our affiliate has grown and developed significantly over the course of his volunteering career, and he’s excited about our plans for the future. When asked what excites him about the work our affiliate is doing he exclaims, in typical fashion, “Oh, I love doing the same job three times!” He laughs, “Maybe you should cut that,” and adds, “I think we can learn a lot from what we’ve done in the past. I think we can improve on the quality of our not only workmanship but not having to do the same job two or three times.” He’s witnessed these improvements in craftsmanship and productivity, and the evidence is clear in the number of homes that our affiliate is beginning to build each year.

Years ago, when Randy started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the aspect of our mission that resonated most with him was the relationships that volunteers are able to develop with homeowners as a result of the Sweat Equity hours they fulfill. He recalls, “I did a couple of Mission trips down south of Tijuana – great time; great time. They do it once a year, they do it for one week, and they’re done.” Even on short projects like these, Randy was able to develop relationships with the future homeowners.

What has kept him coming back every week up until today remains the same. For him, the most rewarding part of “Habitat – especially when you’re retired – is that you’re more involved with the people – both the people you work with [on site] and the future homeowners.”

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

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