Habitat is what we do; Humanity is why we do it.

Our CAHfH volunteers were asked to submit their thoughts about why they volunteer or what Habitat means to them.


Candace Berg

I became involved with Habitat for Humanity with my daughter , Jillian Berg, who will be the owner of 27 Norton Avenue. The organization was one I had always admired, and I was happy to have the opportunity to take part in the building of Jillian’s new home. Working on the house and forging new friendships has been a wonderful experience. I plan to continue to volunteer with Habitat after this home is completed.


Linda Borrello

I have been involved with this wonderful organization for two years. Working with all the amazing people, who volunteer just like me, gives me a sense of giving back. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to build new friendships and to be able to work in a loving and caring environment with others whom I have known for many years. However, the thing that draws me to Habitat is seeing how the organization makes a difference in the communities and with the families who are chosen for the homes that are built or renovated. The passion of everyone involved is heartwarming, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.


Martha Boutet

To be a teacher and a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity had been two goals of mine for years. After retirement, it was time to look for a special place to volunteer. I could sweep, paint, clean, and be a gofer. Would Habitat need me with this limited skill set?

At the first Silver Creek organizational meeting in 2007, Dave and Marilyn
Kurzawa presented their plan for CAHfH. The Kurzawas’ commitment, energy, and joyful approach to volunteering, along with the other Silver Creek leaders and volunteers, convinced me that I wanted to be on “their team.” Through the years, 2007-2020, we have built six houses under their direction, leadership, and problem-solving. We have had a lot of work, but lots more fun.

Every new build or refurbished home has become unique, with memories of the friendships that grew through the volunteers’ efforts. Our “Seasoned Team” of all ages has included Fredonia and Job Corps Students. By sharing tools, food, tight spaces, and laughter, we have achieved what we could. Through COVID, our numbers have been small, but we are mighty. “Let’s get ‘er done!” became our motto. Because “Home is where our hearts are,” every Saturday morning, walls built with love will surround and support our next family.
As volunteers, let us all continue to give hope, dreams, and a home to the next generation.


Mike Cerabone

I know enough to be dangerous, a Jack-of -all-trades and master of none. It is my complete pleasure to take on or to assist with any task necessary to complete a phase of construction on our Habitat houses. Whatever it takes to get our families moved into a safe and comfortable home is my goal, and I am so pleased to be able to contribute to that.


Rose Cerabone

I try to learn new skills from the more seasoned Habitat Helpers, like painting, pointing, and ditch-digging. It amazes me how my “little jobs,” along with the other volunteers’ “little jobs,” come together for the greater good: a new home for a family. “We are one body, one body in Christ. We do not stand alone!”


Sheila Dunn

It is an incredible experience to be part of a team that is constructing a new home from the ground up. It provides the opportunity to see the hard work and efforts of volunteers come to life – and learning new skills and becoming part of the local Habitat community are the added benefits!


Claire Murray

When Habitat for Humanity first started in Chautauqua County, I became involved. The friendships, meeting new people, and working with eventual homeowners has brought me great satisfaction. I have been part of that process. Today, I still have that same feeling. I enjoy working with Habitat!


Rick Marable

I work for Habitat because I feel that the best thing I could do to help someone else is to help build a good house for a family to live in. I also learn so much and have made good friends who make me feel like part of a larger family.


Dave Nowak

As a child I grew up in the hospitality industry and then worked in it until retirement. After that, I needed a different challenge to excite my mind to keep active. I tried other professions, but they were too solitary with not enough social exchange and were not fulfilling. As a teacher, I had most of my summers off. Instead of goofing off, I rebuilt my house (from a summer cottage to a year-round home) and in doing so I acquired several tools and new knowledge. The tools sat dormant but the experiences gained needed to be shared. Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity organized just in time and appeared to supply my needs. I now can share my tools and my knowledge in an organization that gives back to the community.


Patty Perlee

I became interested in Habitat when I first learned about it many years ago, but it wasn’t until I began to hear Eileen Braungard and Sylvia Faust talk about Habitat that I thought about volunteering. They assured me that there were jobs for every skill level, and that the next house would be in Jamestown. After my first Saturday volunteering at the house on Norton, I was hooked! Everyone working on the house was welcoming and friendly, and willing to show me what needed to be done. I am proud to be a part of this project.


Pat Rodgers

Volunteering at Habitat affords an opportunity to band together with others for the betterment of the community. Getting to know other volunteers and prospective property owners allows one to form a bond with like-minded folks and become part of a family of kind and thoughtful people. The dedication and work ethic of this family is inspirational and moving.


Donna Roof

It is difficult for me to put this in words because the reward I get is on a spiritual level. As I age, my need to make a difference in this world intensifies. Working with Habitat helps me feel that I have positively impacted my little part of the world.


Rich Smith

As a man who has spent more than 50 years in the building trades, I have learned many tips and tricks in ways to fix things. Now, as a volunteer for Habitat for the past few years, I have enjoyed teaching others some of these things. I especially enjoy the look on the face of a person who has never seen a power saw. When they come to me and ask if I would cut a piece of wood for them using the power miter saw, I say, ” No, but I will show you how to do it.” That’s when I appreciate the teaching moment. Sometimes their look after they are successful is priceless