The Beat Goes On

Donald and Lola Burd have volunteered at WCHFH build sites for over eight years. Donald retired last year. He was a union electrician for over thirty years. “I’ve always enjoyed working with the teams and the families, and it’s a great way to give something back to the community,” Donald noted. “I was asked to help out with a build in 2008, and every week as we made progress on the home, the family’s young daughter would come by and say to her father  ‘Did you see what they did to my room, Daddy?’  Well, that kind of got me hooked and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Throughout the years, Donald and Lola brought their grandson Taylor along with them. Taylor began early, and has logged over six hundred volunteer hours to date. He now attends Stevens Institute of Technology in pursuit of degrees in Civil and Structural Engineering. He is the Community Service Chair of the Sigma Phi Epsilon, New Jersey Alpha brotherhood.

In mid-November, the Port Colden duplex was ready to be insulated, a job that takes many hours for a structure as large as the duplex.  Site Construction Supervisor Vic Bozzuffi put the word out that a larger group of workers was needed for the weekend in order to complete the installation. Stevens Institute volunteers join build teamWhen Taylor found out, he convened a group of nine undergraduate brothers, one alumni brother, and a current undergraduate sweetheart (a female student representing the ideals of the organization) and they made their plans to spend a large part of a Saturday helping out. The students, no strangers to volunteerism, made their way from Hoboken and other parts of the state to meet at the job site in Washington Township.

Vic was appreciative of the work done by the students he called “the swarm”. The group “came in with a lot of energy and teamwork and a great spirit, and they’re doing a terrific job,” commented Vic. “This really helps us prep for the indoor work we need to do through the winter.”

Multi-generational volunteer families are actually fairly common at Warren County Habitat. Parents who volunteer will often introduce their sons and daughters to the uplifting experience volunteering can be, encouraging the concept of “families helping families.” In this case, that principle paid dividends through the addition of a community-minded team of students.