Building Dreams: Gayle's Journey with Habitat for Humanity - Habitat Stories | Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity

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Building Dreams: Gayle's Journey with Habitat for Humanity

Gayle Johnson's journey with Habitat for Humanity has been a testament to dedication, compassion, and the transformative power of community-driven efforts. From her early days volunteering with the Milwaukee affiliate to her current involvement with Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity, Gayle's commitment to affordable housing has remained steadfast.

"It all began when my youngest daughter expressed an interest in engineering," Gayle recalls. "To provide her with hands-on experience, my husband and I embarked on a volunteer journey with Habitat."

Their journey started in Milwaukee, where they threw themselves into the structured programs, finding joy in every task. " They offered us an opportunity to work at the ReStore first. They said the door area was completely chaotic. We pulled every door, remeasured, and put them all back into the racks," Gayle reminisces. "We had a really good experience. There were a lot of youth doing their court-appointed volunteer hours there, and we just tried to be really positive role models." Moving to Atlanta presented new challenges, with long waiting lists and a rigorous process for participants. "We were very impressed with the participants, not just the 400 hours of volunteering, but all of the education they had to go through," Gayle reflects. "It was a very rigid process."

Upon relocating to Boise, Gayle and her husband encountered a more streamlined process but remained committed to making a difference. "For the first year, we couldn't get into Habitat here either," Gayle explains. "So, we volunteered elsewhere until they called us to work on an existing home that they were remodeling."

As a female volunteer in a predominantly male-dominated field, Gayle faced occasional challenges but overcame them with confidence and perseverance. "If you're willing to listen, follow directions, admit you don't know anything, but you're willing to learn, I think you get accepted right away," she asserts. "I think women really shouldn't be afraid of anything because honestly, half the volunteers have very little or no experience either."

One of the most rewarding projects for Gayle was the renovation of a stairway in a Boise home. "We took it on from beginning to end," Gayle recalls. "We spent probably two and a half months just on that project. We made patterns, measured everything, and executed the plan with precision."

Looking ahead, Gayle hopes to continue supporting Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity in any capacity possible. "As long as we're physically capable, we'll be happy to do whatever," she says. "I don't feel a need to necessarily lead. I'm not really looking to get into the organization beyond as a volunteer, but I'm willing to support them in any way possible."

Gayle's journey with Habitat for Humanity is a testament to the power of volunteerism and the profound impact it can have on individuals and communities alike. Through her unwavering dedication and passion, she continues to be a beacon of hope for those in need of a place to call home.

AI-generated content: This story was written with AI assistance.

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