Whether it’s working with the construction crew on a build site or in the office scheduling volunteer hours for future projects, this Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinator has her hands full. Luckily for Casey Wright, she’s mastered the art of juggling and it’s all in a day’s work.
When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Wright is quick to answer. “It’s definitely the volunteers and future homeowners. Having the opportunity to meet so many interesting people who are willing to donate their time and skills to help others is such an honor,” she said, adding, “I love working in the non-profit sector. It’s a nice mix of career and passion.”
Wright began her career with Habitat for Humanity in South Palm Beach County in 2012 as a Construction Crew Leader. Her degree in art sculpture made her a good fit for the hands-on role. Once she and her fiancé decided to move to St. Augustine in 2014, she applied for the open position of Volunteer Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of St. Johns County and quickly adjusted to the demands of the new role. “As a Volunteer Coordinator, you have to be very in tune with working with people from all walks of life and learning what their needs are. It’s a challenge, but one that I look forward to every day.”
RISE & SHINE
Wright typically arrives at the Habitat offices bright and early to pick up ice, bottled water and snacks for the volunteers working that day. She then heads over to the build site, one of the four that are currently in progress, and meets with the Site Supervisors to make sure everything is ready to go for the day ahead.
Each day presents a new opportunity to meet volunteers and share what Habitat for Humanity is all about. Wright and the team begin the morning with a friendly greeting, a quick orientation and safety talk. “Our volunteers are from organizations, community groups, local businesses or just individuals who want to give back by helping build. No experience needed,” Wright explained. Build days take place Wednesday through Saturday, with the busiest day accommodating around 20 to 30 volunteers.
After the volunteers and supervisors start on the daily construction at the build site, which can include anything from building and standing up exterior walls to installing trim or interior paint, Wright heads back to the office. In the course of a day, she schedules and organizes volunteer hours for ongoing building projects, helps future homeowners track their sweat-equity hours, and oversees a group of interns who assist during office hours. “Everyone wears a lot of hats here because our affiliate is a small non-profit as far as staff goes. We each juggle a lot in our roles and work together to achieve our goals. I think small teams can be very efficient that way.”
Wright also works closely with the office volunteers, as they help with daily tasks including front desk reception, phone answering and sorting various projects and paperwork required of a home ownership organization. Both volunteers on the build site and in the office help to keep the progress moving forward every day to help more families fulfill their dream of some day owning a home. Habitat for Humanity of St. Johns County currently has four different projects going in the West St. Augustine area and Lincolnville Historic District.
After another construction site visit around lunchtime to check in with volunteers, Wright is back in the office working on reaching out to new community groups and planning for upcoming events. “It’s a busy job, but I love it,” she said, adding, “Each day is a new opportunity to achieve something great.”
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This article originally appeared in the April/May print issue of St. Augustine Social Magazine. Photography by Rob Futrell, exclusively for St. Augustine Social.