When Graham moved to the Manchester area in 2010, he searched for a way to engage in the community. And that search led him to Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity. He enjoyed building, especially furniture, and Habitat provided an outlet for his skills while giving back to the community. And he’s been stuck with them ever since.
On October 18th, Graham will be one of several nominees awarded a Volunteer Service Award as part of the Spirit of New Hampshire Awards. The Spirit of New Hampshire Awards is organized by Volunteer NH and celebrates volunteerism in the state of New Hampshire. According to their website, Volunteer NH’s mission is to “promote the tradition of service in New Hampshire.” Graham has exceedingly exemplified this spirit and continues to do so every day at Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity in all of the hats that he wears.
Graham is the vice-chair of the Construction Committee, ReStore Committee Chairman and member of the Board of Directors. With few exceptions, you will see Graham at the current build site at 50 Hosley Street every Saturday, often acting as site supervisor or crew leader. But while you see him bustling around at Habitat a lot, you won’t hear him talking about the award he is about to receive.
“Graham did not know anything about this until I told him when I read it in Sunday’s paper,” fellow volunteer Janine Woodworth wrote in an email to Habitat. And even when I contacted him for a few bits of information for this article he said, “Why me? I don’t like attention.”
And he really doesn’t. For two years, Graham has done what he loves at Habitat. He builds things. When asked what he hopes to accomplish in the future at Habitat, Graham replied, “Complete the Hosley Street project,” referring to the current build. Graham’s focus remains absolute and sincere, to support Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing for all. He enjoys the hands on construction experience, and even more, he enjoys being with the friends he has made at Habitat.
And what would he like to see happen in the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity affiliate?
“I’d like to see the organization grow and develop, especially on the non-construction side of the organization,” Graham replied. One of his pet projects is to see GMHFH open its own ReStore, a place where donated recycled or new building materials is sold to the public at a big savings to the pocketbook.
So while he may have come to Habitat to build things, Graham stayed because of a vision. His ardent drive to complete the Hosley Street project moves our affiliate along, and his hope to see the affiliate grow beyond just building, to become a true part of our community, supports his fellow and future volunteers.
And so to Graham, we say thank you. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for your drive. And thank you for wanting to build things with us.