“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” I have seen this quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, but I share it today because it epitomizes Betty McPherson. I was grateful for the opportunity last week to join with others and help Betty celebrate her 90th birthday. Betty has made Habitat for Humanity a part of her life for almost 30 years, and even her big birthday didn’t stop her. She was here at the Habitat CFC office that day – not for the surprise celebration that she didn’t know we were planning – but because it was Wednesday and that’s the day every week that Betty spends volunteering with us.
Betty told us that she started volunteering with Habitat CFC in 1988 – and she remembers helping to build a house on Clinton Avenue in Bridgeport – apparently only the second home built by our organization. Betty worked on build sites for quite a number of years, as she said, “hammering nails” before deciding that it was time to shift her efforts into our office.
Betty understands the importance of a stable, decent home for every family. She recognizes the value of volunteers, partner families, donors and others coming together to build simple, energy efficient, high quality homes. Betty has seen the positive impact we have on neighborhoods, when a hard working family has the opportunity to purchase the home they helped build, at a price they can afford, with a zero interest mortgage.
Every Wednesday when Betty is done with her “work” for the day, she says, “See you next week – weather permitting.” We are thrilled and grateful that Betty continues to share the life she is making with Habitat CFC. Happy Birthday, Betty! We hope to have you here every Wednesday for another 30 years – weather permitting!