Volunteer works on Habitat houses

July 27, 2006

Name: Don Buckley

Age: 72

Resides in: Williamsport

Occupation, or former occupation if retired: Buckley retired from IBM after working for the company for 33 years.

Where do you volunteer and what do you do there?: Buckley volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Washington County. He works in its Hagerstown office, at 20 S. Prospect St., where he writes checks for employees and vendors.

He also helps to build houses, and estimated that since he started volunteering with Habitat in 1992 he has helped to build 18 houses.


Earlier this year he was one of 16 volunteers who traveled to Brewton, Ala., to "blitz build" two houses for families affected by Hurricane Ivan.

Buckley previously served on the organization's board of directors and remains a member of its building committee.

What prompted you to begin volunteering?: After he retired Buckley and his wife, who died of cancer in 1998, moved to her hometown of Williamsport.

"I felt like I should do something for the community and that's not noble, that's just the way my thought process is," he said.

Buckley said he chose to volunteer with Habitat after learning the organization was, at the time, building its first house. After spending his career inside an office, he said he was looking forward to the idea of working outdoors.

Your biggest reward as a volunteer?: "Knowing the families that you're putting into the house you're building and watching them work on the house and watching them come into the house and enjoy the fruits of their labor," Buckley listed as his biggest reward.

"There isn't a dry eye in the place when you have a closing on a house or a house dedication."

What impact has volunteering had on your life?: Buckley said helping to build houses for people who otherwise would not be able to afford one has caused him to appreciate what he has in his life.

He said he also has a deeper appreciation for his six children and 10 grandchildren.

What keeps you busy when you're not volunteering?: Maintaining his 1 1/2-acre property and working on his truck and lawn equipment help to fill Buckley's hours. His biggest pleasure, however, is reading. He said he visits the library every fews weeks to check out five books.

Want to volunteer with Habitat?

Sherry Brown Cooper, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, said volunteers are always needed. One of the biggest needs, she said, is for skilled workers who can lead unskilled workers at construction sites.

Such skilled workers do not have to hold any special licenses but should know the different stages of construction.

Volunteers also are needed to serve on committees, including the dinner auction committee, church partners committee and family partners committee.

Anyone interested in volunteering may call Habitat's office at 301-791-9009 or send an e-mail to

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