When their church in Kentucky decided to help build a Habitat home for a fellow congregant, Gene and Jean Cravens stepped up and helped build the home. For almost 35 years now, the couple has remained committed to the Habitat for Humanity mission, supporting the work of their hometown affiliate, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, and, as they spent more and more time in Vero Beach, the Indian River Habitat affiliate as well.
For over 20 years, they have served diligently and given generously. They participated in the construction of some of Habitat for Humanity’s earliest home builds and were instrumental in efforts that eventually led to Indian River Habitat’s well known Women Build initiative.
When Indian River Habitat established a scholarship program for Habitat homeowners and their children, the Cravens become involved. Not only have they contributed financially toward the Program, but have also helped tutor students and have provided ESL assistance to families across our community.
During ‘season,’ Gene and Jean can be found volunteering at the Habitat ReStore several days a week. “The Habitat ReStore is Gene’s second home,” Jean jokingly says of her husband.
“They are so pleasant to work with,” a ReStore cashier describes. “They are very precious and very generous, but do so privately.” She adds, “I think they’re like angels.”
Al DeRenzo, Chairperson of the Habitat’s Scholarship Committee couldn’t agree more. As he searches for words to describe his gratitude and he finally states, “They are the most wonderful, generous, loving people.” Affectionately he concludes, “when I grow up, I want to be like them.”