A Veteran Volunteer with Habitat

07/01/2015

Veterans Volunteer | Habitat for Humanity KokomoHabitat for Humanity Kokomo relies on the support of its community and its volunteers. From fresher to mature, Habitat has a wide range of people willing to participate. Robin Symonds is a “Veteran Volunteer”with Habitat for Humanity Kokomo, who began his journey with Habitat in 1993.

“I saw This Old House on PBS, and went to a home show. I saw the Habitat table for Kokomo, and signed up.”

Symonds first framed a house on West 8th St. He eventually joined the board in January of 1996 and has been the President for five different years.

A great deal of Symonds time was spent in the construction of the builds. He spent time on Jimmy Carter builds, one in Georgia in 2003, Illinois in 2005, and Mississippi in 2008. There, he met two to three thousand volunteers from every state in the U.S. who helped build more than fifty houses.

“It was great to meet people and the many affiliates. Everyone enjoyed what they did, even if they were tired and dirty.” Symonds says.

His favorite build was during 2000, where they began to frame a house for New Years. Working in 35 degree weather, a total of 65 volunteers completed and secured the house by 7:30a.m., and met with the families and volunteers at the church for coffee.

“I remember people driving by to see if we actually completed the house like we said we would.” Symonds reminisces.

Symonds says what ultimately lead him to Habitat was their idea of a hand up, not a hand out. In terms of assistance, he believes Habitat assistance lasts longer, and has more value than when individuals do not participate in the cause, and are given what they need.

“Over the years, I have watched children realize they have their own space, families grow throughout the years, and families make the last payment on their houses. I have witnessed the long-term relationships Habitat has with its partner families” Symonds says.

He continues to work with Habitat today, and witness the opportunities their mission offers to families in need.