During the first week of December, we celebrated the many hands that came together to build HOPE with us this year. Almost 200 volunteers helped us celebrate our achievements this year! During the program, we announced our 2022 volunteer award recipients. Below is the speech given by Kristin Freehill to honor the award recipients!
We are so grateful for our student volunteers and the many BSU teams, fraternities, sororities, clubs, and organizations that have committed to volunteering with Habitat. We are excited to introduce a new award this year: our BSU partner of the year. This is a group that volunteers with us annually and makes a big impact. If something pops up at the last minute that requires volunteer help, this is an group I know we can call with no notice and they’ll be there to help out. We have rocked the block together, built homes together, and tackled exterior facelifts and upgrades on homes throughout the community doing “A Brush with Kindness” together – I am thrilled to recognize the BSU Baseball team and Coach Rich Maloney as our 2022 BSU partner of the year.
Earlier this evening, we shared our appreciation for our Interfaith Build congregations. For over 36 years, we’ve partnered with many churches throughout our community on Faith Builds, Apostles Builds, mission trips, and more. In 2021, when we introduced the concept of “Interfaith Build” – the idea of bringing different faith groups together across denominational lines – one of our church partners in particular helped us to spearhead the “Inter-faith” concept. They excitedly found another church to work alongside in partnership, bringing their congregations together for fellowship and building a home together. This church volunteers with us every year, has donated to Muncie Habitat annually for over 20 years, and is our 15th largest donor of all time. We are honored to announce First Presbyterian Church as our 2022 Church Partner of the Year. Thank you, to the members of First Presbyterian, for being champions for Muncie Habitat and continuing to walk alongside us as this work has evolved over the years.
Post pandemic, in a time where so many organizations were still operating virtually, we had a slow season of volunteering. In this time, we were able to rely on the contributions of our corporate partner of the year. This organization has generously sent groups of employees to work across Habitat build sites every month over the past 2 years. They are volunteers, donors, supporters, and true partners in this work. They care deeply and invest deeply in our community and in Habitat’s work. In 2022 alone, they gave over 370 hours working across 7 different Muncie Habitat sites. We are excited to recognize Accutech as our 2022 Corporate Partner of the Year. Thank you Adam for generously sharing your team with Habitat and allowing them the opportunity to build with us each month, thank you Danielle for working with me and coordinating the many team members involved in our volunteer days, thank you the Accutech team members, like Josh and Dustin, that have become a part of our Habitat family. We are so grateful for everyone at Accutech!
I’d like to recognize our site supervisors, Jay and Mike, and our ReStore manager, Michelle, for helping in selecting our final two award recipients of the night. As many of you in this room know firsthand, Jay, Mike, and Michelle dedicate themselves to ensuring our volunteers feel appreciated and have fun, all while remaining safe and accomplishing a lot. Thank you – Jay, Mike, and Michelle – for all that you do to ensure our volunteers are well-cared for in store and on site. Michelle has helped us in selecting our Bob Haupt ReStore volunteer of the year for 2022. This is a volunteer who can be found as many as 5 days a week generously giving his time in store. His dedication and commitment to ReStore have made this his 5th consecutive year of being the recipient of this award. I’m thrilled to recognize John Ashburn as our ReStore volunteer of the year!
Our site supervisors Jay and Mike have the privilege of working alongside our T&T Crew every Tuesday and Thursday. The T&T Crew has generously given over 3,500 hours collectively across our construction sites in 2022.
If it were up to us, every T&T Crew member would receive an award. Every member of that crew is an asset to our organization. This year, we recognize someone who received this same award 10 years ago; someone who has volunteered with us regularly since 2004; someone who gave more volunteer hours than any other construction site volunteer last year; she even spent her birthday volunteering on our build site earlier this year. It’s my honor to recognize Pat Freeman as our 2022 volunteer of the year. To Pat and all of our T&T Crew members, thank you for your commitment and dedication to Muncie Habitat, thank you for the nearly 4,000 hours you spent on our build sites this year, and thank you for being a part of our family. We are so grateful for all that you do!
Our volunteers make our work possible. Each person in this room has touched our community in an important way by investing their most valuable asset – their time – into this work. When they say it takes a village, YOU are our village – so thank you, to each and every one of you – for being the most important part of our work. We are so grateful for your contribution to our organization throughout the year, and we are so glad we could celebrate with you all this evening.