Three out of the five weekdays that someone walks into the Alachua Habitat for Humanity office, they will be greeted with a warm smile as a woman pops her head up and greets you with a friendly voice.
Although she is not on the payroll, for the last year, Donna Seay has been coming into the Habitat office every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to assist with secretarial work.
Without the help of volunteers, Alachua Habitat for Humanity wouldn’t be possible. Volunteers are the backbone behind any non-profit organization, and at Habitat, they build houses, keep the ReStore running and even act as secretaries, as is the case with Seay.
Seay first got involved with Habitat for Humanity about 10 years ago when her daughter organized a volunteer group within her office in Chicago. With about 40 other people, Seay experienced the effort and hard work that goes into building not only one, but two houses.
Her volunteering doesn’t end there.
She was heavily involved with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for 22 years in Long Island, NY, where she is from.
“I feel like God has been extremely good to me in my life,” Seay said. “I have always felt that it’s necessary to give back because I’ve been blessed.”
Without Seay, many of the people who work at Habitat think that day-to-day operations would be impossible. Besides answering phones and doing secretarial work, Seay assists every single member of the staff with whatever they need. She has begun to arrange and modernize the Alachua Habitat donor database; a daunting task.
“My biggest challenge is that they had a database here that nobody has used for years and years, and it’s a very big tool for us,” Seay said. “So, I’ve been working very hard for the last five or six months in this database getting all of the current information up so that they can start using it as a tool.”
A year and a half ago, Seay moved to Florida after retirement because of the difference in the cost of living. In her spare time, she likes to travel. She lives with her husband in their RV, making it easy to pick up and go whenever they want. Seay was a stewardess for Pan American World Airways for eight years and has traveled not only this country, but also the world.
Even though Seay works only three days per week, her efforts don’t go unnoticed. She has become an integral part of the Alachua Habitat team.
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