Everyone can see our homes being built, but we couldn’t accomplish this without the behind the scenes work done by volunteers like Christina and Warren Brodie.
“We’re not sure what we’d do without them”. Wendy Cullinan says. “Warren is the equivalent of having an attorney on staff – always available, donating hours upon hours of his expertise. We’ve never seen an invoice in nearly 20 years. And Christina has so many skills and willingly accepts any challenges that come along. Both Christina and Warren are kind and caring, they are loved and respected by all of us here at Habitat and truly reflect the Habitat Cape Cod mission”.
Warren is currently a member of the Habitat Cape Cod Board of Directors. He joined Habitat in 2005 as a member of the Land Acquisition Committee. Warren puts in many hours moving each project through complex negotiations and permitting processes with towns and neighbors and has been involved, one way or another, in over a hundred builds.
Christina has her own consulting practice and her skill set allows for her to fill diverse volunteer needs. She enjoys engaging with prospective families on the Interview Committee, and is a Family Partner to her fifth Cape family and she has been known to lift a hammer when needed.
Christina also co-led a Cape group to an international build in the Dominican Republic in 2017.
In 2007, the Brodies and their son Ethan, joined a Habitat Cape Cod team on a blitz build in Jackson, Mississippi. Eight teams built eight homes for New Orleans residents who had lost their homes in the Hurricane Katrina disaster. “It was an inspiring experience to build a home from scratch in just a week with our Habitat Cape Cod team,” Christina recalled.
After moving to Falmouth in 2015, Christina ( still working part-time) and Warren (working full-time) were looking for ways to contribute more to their new community and meet people. Christina, influenced by her parents who always demonstrated a willingness to build community whever they were, was especially interested in partnering with women as they claim their power.
In additon to Habitat, she volunteers with We Can. “I was thrilled to find so many women as Habitat homeowners,” she says, continually ready to find the next way to be supportive.
Warren has provided legal counsel for Habitat builds across the Cape. It would be hard to list his contributions over the years. Warren remembers Habitat former president and visionary leader, Don Dickenson, who chaired the Land Acquisition Committee and who recruited Warren for the Habitat Board.“Habitat was building one to two houses per year on the Cape. Don wanted to do much more and ultimately proved that we could build ten to twelve homes per year, if not more. For several years Don
and I traveled around the Cape, talking to Habitat supporters and local government folks and exploring
potential building sites. It is crucial to bring the community into the process and to foster local coalitions. Applications are submitted to Zoning and Planning boards and reviewed by many government departments and agencies. It can take months and even years to get a project approved. I have been working on one project in Wellfleet for over 15 years.”
Because the Brodies embody the essence of collaborating with others, it’s obvious how much they
receive in return. Warren has nothing but admiration for Habitat Cape Cod. “We get things done. It’s a
vibrant organization that functions at a high professional level from the Board members to the office staff to the construction leaders and core volunteers. We’ve built 160 plus houses here, but we still have a crisis we’re not solving fast enough.”
“Habitat homes are about empowerment,” adds Christina. When you own your home, you’re really in charge of your own life.”
People can find so many ways to be involved. In addition to the roles described here, you can Ride for Homes and Fish for Homes.You can contribute snacks for construction site work breaks.”For more fun, she has also helped out at the Falmouth ReStore, which has special benefits. “Got a great leaf blower for ten bucks!” she smiles.