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King County Habitat recognizes volunteer’s gifts

By Janet Randall - Plymouth

Jerry Haas is Habitat-King County’s Volunteer of the Year.

Photo courtesy of Janet Randall

Jerry Haas, Plymouth Church UCC member since 1980, was recently named King County’s Habitat for Humanity’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Also a volunteer usher at Plymouth, Jerry has given one day a week to Habitat for 20 years—about 7,000 hours

An engineer by trade and always a “do-it-yourselfer, Jerry said he first became involved with Habitat through working with a Plymouth Church group.

“I enjoyed it, so decided to get more involved,” he added. “It’s great doing something you enjoy that helps other people. Working with many of the same volunteers through the years, I’ve developed good friendships.”

Jerry travelled to Guatemala with the Plymouth Church group the past two years.

Ken and Jeanette Hagen, who headed up Plymouth’s 2017 Guatemala contingent, attended Habitat’s celebration. 

“We’re proud to see Jerry named to this honor,” said Ken.

Jerry participates primarily in local projects, but he looks forward to see “where we go next.” 

Plans are underway for the third year in a row for Plymouth members to travel to Guatemala to participate in a Habitat for Humanity project Feb. 10 to 20 at Lake Atitlan to bring sanitation to rural Mayan families while building latrines and smokeless cook stoves.

About 46 percent of Guatemalans use inadequate or no latrines, and 90 percent of rural Guatemalans use wood in open fires as their primary cooking fuel, a long-term health hazard.

Habitat projects significantly aid in the health of poor, rural families. 

Working with host families gives volunteers an opportunity to become acquainted with another culture in an authentic way.

Participants will also share some Guatemalan culture, visit a Mayan ruin and weaving cooperative, visit a school and participate in other activities, said trip co-leaders Greg Anacker and Susan Dittigof Plymouth UCC.

For information, call 206-542-0224 or 206-285-7541.


Pacific Northwest United Church News © September-October 2017


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