When Ron Bailey volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County for the first time, picking up donated furniture in the Habitat Store’s moving truck, he found a familiar face in the passenger’s seat.
“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” he asked the cheerful woman sitting next to him.
Theresa Schenck had cared for Ron’s late mother in a local nursing home. He recalled being touched by her kind manner.
He learned that Theresa had been accepted into Habitat’s home-ownership program, and was working to fulfill several hundred hours of volunteer “sweat equity,” to qualify her to purchase a simple, decent home with a zero interest mortgage.
The hard-working single mom worked late shifts and hours of overtime at the nursing home yet struggled to afford her small apartment. She wanted something better for her two daughters. Moved by her story, Ron committed to help make her dream a reality. When construction on Theresa’s home began, he rallied members of his church to donate money and labor.
Theresa’s home in Ferndale was finished in 2011. It is the first single-family house her children have ever lived in.
Ron continues to volunteer at the store and recently became a member of Habitat’s board of directors. For him, service is an expression of his faith and gratitude.
Habitat’s program has a profound and lasting impact on the lives of the families it serves.
“The people we’re helping to serve – we’re helping them to help themselves,” Ron says. “It has the potential to be life-changing rather than moment-changing.”