Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Habitat volunteer likes to stay busy
Updated: Oct 10, 2022
Lori Taylor is the result of effort and determination meeting. She is a Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) construction volunteer, who for a time, watched her young grandson before he went to school. These days, Lori balances the renovation of an 1880s farmhouse she recently bought in West Hampton, helping her daughter and son-in-law with their two children, and volunteering. Despite her busy schedule, Lori said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ve known about Habitat for a long time. My husband and I were flipping houses in our twenties, then we owned a lawn maintenance business, and I wanted to volunteer, but we were just got too busy,” Lori said. “When I moved up here, I missed doing house renovations and I like staying busy.”
Lori moved to Western Massachusetts from Central Florida in September 2020. Her husband had recently passed following a battle with dementia, and Lori needed a change of scenery. She came to visit her daughter and son-in-law, who were stationed at Barnes Air Force Base, and their two young children. Lori loved the area, blueberry and apple picking, and hiking. She decided to stay.
Soon, Lori purchased a home in Westfield and frequently visited the nearby ReStore to furnish it. There, she met former store manager Mark Rivard and shared with him a desire to volunteer. Mark suggested Lori speak with John O’Farrell, GSHFH Fundraising and Volunteer coordinator.
“Our volunteers play an important role in helping to move our projects forward throughout the year,” John said. “We are blessed to have such a talented group of individuals come together, united in the focus of helping other people, improving our local communities, and choosing to make a positive difference by volunteering their valuable time with us.”
Sometimes, Lori volunteered two to three times a month.
“It’s very rewarding to meet the construction crew. You build a bond working with them and helping each other out, and you learn different skills,” Lori said. “I’ve been a landlord a long time and I like seeing people in a position to buy a home. So many of my tenants live paycheck to paycheck. They’ve given into the fact they’ll be renters, but Habitat gives people an opportunity to own and there’s something special about owning a home. There’s an independence and something special about having to put in the time to take care of your own property.”