Meet Larry Jones
“One of the most basic human rights is housing – the right not only to have a place to live, but to have it be your own.”
Since 1984, President Jimmy Carter has been a faithful friend and advocate of Habitat’s mission, serving as inspiration for those who feel compelled to volunteer in the better portion of their lives.
If you ask Larry Jones, Carter’s 38-year legacy profoundly impacted him, ultimately leading to his picking up a hammer toward homeownership.
Larry began his journey with Indian River Habitat in 2016, however, prior to his volunteering with us, led a civically active life. In fact, before retiring from the business sector in 2013, Larry boasted a 22-year career in Social Services.
Soon after departing his role as a Fraud Investigator in New Jersey, Larry and his wife packed up their belongs and relocated to Delaware –building both a new life and home to retire. As fate would have it, Larry noticed a ReStore truck driving throughout his neighborhood, signaling his aforementioned desire to get involved. Just two days later, Larry connected with the Central Delaware affiliate and got to work.
Habitat and Larry’s lifelong career were the perfect marriage of his favorite pastime. Whether serving as a guidepost for former clients or painting a Habitat home, Larry runs toward experiences where he utilizes his own two hands to make a difference.
Larry’s longing to “get his hands dirty” was cultivated at a young age. At just 12 years old, Larry helped his father build his family home. A few years later, when a neighborhood family lost their home to devastation, Larry once again sprang into action.
From school age to present day, Larry still has that same drive and desire to help families achieve housing stability.
“We’re filling a need for the community that has often been overlooked,” Larry said.
Since Indian River Habitat opened its doors in 1991, over 500 families have been served through new home construction and critical home repairs. Together, with volunteers like Larry, we are able to amplify our production because of their dedication to our mission and their commitment to helping us help working families.
“I love it. I truly get up for it each day,” Larry concluded.
6 years and 2000 volunteer hours later, Larry continues to show up each Wednesday and Friday to give a hand to those who need it most. President Carter is an inspiration to us all, but the determination displayed by Larry encourages us just the same.
Don Poust... 14,000 Hours
If you have spent any amount of time on an Indian River Habitat build site over the past twenty years, you likely have swung a hammer next to one of our most faithful volunteers, Don Poust.
When Don first started volunteering, he would help install ceiling fans during his evenings after work. With time, installing ceiling fans led to placing roof shingles, which later led to being the leader of the electrical wire team, ultimately reaching 14,000 hours of service to Indian River Habitat.
When Don retired in 2008, he took on a new full-time position – volunteer!
Don credits Habitat’s mission of “togetherness” as the thing that motivates him to get up each morning and get to work. “Every little bit from each of us, gets the jobs done,” Don says.
To get involved, visit ircHabitat.org or call our office and ask to speak to someone about volunteering.
Father John Barrett... Full Circle
Father John Barrett, pictured below with Joanie Burnham, has deep ties with Indian River Habitat. Not only does the Saint Edward’s School Chaplain oversee community service at the school but he’s also the stepson of the late Brad Burnham – a founding member of Indian River Habitat’s Partnership with the Moorings Community.
“It’s beautiful for me because I get to expose the students, faculty and staff, as well as some parents, to the faith-based work that Habitat has been doing so well for so many years,” Father Barrett says.
When a beloved Saint Edward’s employee, Wanda, began her journey with Indian River Habitat, the School was quick to help her complete the required ‘sweat equity’ hours.
“The students who showed up did excellent work, learned new skills, and got to give “a hand up” to those in need. It was transforming to them. They got to taste, what I believe, is the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught about and invites us into,” he concludes.
During Wanda’s new Home Dedication, Father Barrett met Habitat homebuyer, Mae (pictured above). So touched by the heart and service of Father Barrett, Mae asked Father Barrett to attend her upcoming Home Dedication, and to bless her new home as well.
Following in his stepfather’s footsteps, Father Barrett is an advocate and proud supporter of Indian River Habitat’s mission of a world where everyone has access to the safety, stability, and security of homeownership.
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