By Maddy Alewine It’s hard to put into a nice, neat paragraph how AmeriCorps impacts Asheville Habitat and in turn, the community. This year’s five AmeriCorps- Sydney, Billy, Nora, Kaitlyn, and Mackenzie- started their year with us jumping in head first, taking on each new challenge with gusto and passion.
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2018.2019-AmeriCorps_2000x800.jpg8192048Maddy Alewinehttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgMaddy Alewine2019-03-15 11:34:332019-03-15 12:42:35AmeriCorps Get Things Done
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has many unpaid Bills – but not the kind you’re thinking. These Bills have chosen to be left unpaid, donating their time and energy, often a few times a week, to help build and repair homes for families, primarily in Buncombe county. Though one Bill volunteers in Henderson County, too! There are seven Bills in total, but as Bill Durant a Friday Core volunteer mused, “Comparable to the stack on my desk – both are increasing.” While this group started as something silly to refer to the growing number of core volunteers named Bill who receives their pay in the form of gratitude and sore muscles, The Unpaid Bills has become an identity for these men who make up a community within the larger group of weekly Core Habitat construction volunteers.
Bill Reid, Bill Ryan, Bill Winkler, part of the Thursday core volunteers
This group of dedicated Bills ranges in years of experience, some having as many as 15 years as a volunteer. The rookie Bill, also the medical Bill (a retired doctor), will be celebrating his one year anniversary as a core volunteer this December. Most, however, fall somewhere in the middle, with about 7 years of service on average. At least one Bill is out on the new home construction job site almost every day of the week! On Mondays Bill Winkler represents the “Unpaid Bills,” Tuesday Bill Bechtold and Bill McDowall hold down the fort, Thursday Bill Winkler joins Bill Reid and Bill Ryan for his second shift of the week, and on Friday Bill Durant, Bill Kantonen, and Bill Lineberry are working hard to close out the week. All of these Bills are committed to building a better future, one day at a time.
When asked what they enjoy most about volunteering, here is what a few Bills had to say:
“I enjoy all aspects of volunteering -The work fits my desired activities and skill set; the other volunteers and staff are exactly the type of people I enjoy being around – the BEST! The satisfaction of contributing to the Asheville community is highly rewarding.” – Bill Winkler (Tuesday, Thursday)
“I enjoy most the camaraderie with my fellow volunteers and in helping people who are willing to try to improve their situation in life.” – Bill Durant (Friday)
“Helping folks, camaraderie of the build teams, and learning how to build/repair things the right way. (Also the nutritious break time snacks.)” – Bill Reid (Thursday)
“Helping deserving people have a home of their own while working with great bunch of people. It has also been a great hands-on learning experience. Although I had done some construction work and have a General Contractors License, I was surprised at how little I really knew.”– Bill McDowall (Tuesday)
“There are multiple factors that I like about volunteering, foremost among these are:
The efficiency of the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity Organization
The professionalism of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity staff
The camaraderie among Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity volunteers
The opportunity to contribute to the local community in a meaningful way.” – Bill Bechtold (Tuesday)
“What I like best is the combination of fun work that benefits the community and the opportunity to work with great future homeowners (super folks), great staff, and great volunteers. Making a difference.” – Bill Ryan (Thursday)
You would never know that the Bills go unpaid at Habitat. They work with integrity and commitment, living out the mission of Habitat – bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. For them, it is about so much more than the lumber, nails, paint, and shingles that create a house – it is about the community, camaraderie, and sense of belonging that truly builds a home. Bill Bechtold captured perfectly the feeling of being one of the “Unpaid Bills.” He said, “Being an Unpaid Bill reminds me to feel grateful that I am healthy enough and fortunate enough to do something meaningful in the community for people who deserve a hand up.”
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is fortunate to have so many unpaid Bills who keep coming back week after week. They, like all of the core volunteers, take home their pay stubs in the form of muddy boots and strong friendships, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Unpaid-Bills_800x350.jpg350800Asheville Habitathttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAsheville Habitat2018-12-12 00:00:002019-01-07 13:12:48The Unpaid Bills… But Not the Kind You’re Thinking
Please join us for a community conversation about affordable housing issues in WNC and how we can work together to bring about change.
Dr. Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project.
His New York Times bestselling book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City draws on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data. Evicted won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, National Books Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
The Sherrill Center/Kimmel Arena, UNC Asheville
5:30pm – Cocktail Reception with Matthew Desmond
7:00pm – Forum
https://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Blog_MatthewDesmond.jpg350800Asheville Habitathttps://www.ashevillehabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AAHH-logo_black_with-counties-tag-300x150.jpgAsheville Habitat2017-08-14 00:00:002018-12-19 16:13:10Tickets On Sale for the 7th Annual Poverty Forum