“We were so grateful for our newly-renovated home in Falmouth, we wanted to pass that joy on to others.” Like so many Habitat volunteers, Maureen York and her husband Rick know home ownership is an ever-growing investment all families deserve.
In 2015, consulting from home after a long international career, Maureen wanted to help others accomplish something important. Gail O’Rourke of White Wood Kitchens, who had done the Yorks’ kitchen, mentioned she was installing a kitchen into a Habitat Blitzbuild in Harwich. Not long after, Maureen got involved in the same cause.
Years of business experience led her, first, to the Application Committee, where everything starts. Applicants go through so many steps. Their folders are inches thick. “Every family is unique,” Maureen explains, with often-difficult lives and economic stress.” A whiz at data and spreadsheets, she once even helped a woman without a computer fill out her mortgage application on a laptop in her car.
Next, Maureen joined the Interview Committee, visiting families at home to evaluate their situations and needs. “We do all we can to help the most deserving applicants succeed in this enormous venture.” To continue her relationship with folks she already knew, Maureen then became their Family Partner on a build in Mashpee.
“All the committee members are interesting and fun to work with,” Maureen reports. “And so responsible. You don’t see that in most organizations.” She’s helped new homeowners in Marstons Mills and in Falmouth. Maureen enjoys staying involved with the families during their first year in their new home. Once, that meant helping stop a leak in someone’s basement, and re-programming a washing machine!
Originally from Dartmouth, MA, Maureen studied marine biology and moved to the Cape in 1975 before she and her husband moved to Hawaii to work in aquaculture. She went on to manage a company in Honolulu that built shrimp and fish farms in Southeast Asia. After they returned to the Cape in 1989 Maureen worked for a high tech sports equipment company in Wareham, which eventually transitioned to manufacturing composite pipe for the oil and gas industry. For several years before retiring she commuted to New Bedford, Houston and Calgary managing the company’s information systems.
These days, her analytical and people skills serve Habitat in many ways. She’s helped on builds, and can be found on Mondays at the Falmouth Restore, where she loves watching people find treasures.
Maureen York praises Habitat’s policy of educating families about their new responsibilities. “We provide manuals for home maintenance, help with budgets and emergencies. We do whatever we can to make homeowners successful.”
Maureen spent most of her adult life helping build things from shrimp farms, to windsurfer masts and hockey sticks, and finally composite pipe that fixes leaking oil lines. “I feel so lucky to have found volunteer opportunities with Habitat to contribute to helping build things that can help improve people’s lives.” How wonderful is that!