Volunteer Spotlight – Doug Friedel

How and when did you first get involved with HopeBUILDERS?

I worked on my first ramp build in the early spring of 2017.  Rick Roth introduced me to the program and to the organizers.

What are some of your responsibilities within the organization?

I am a Project Manager.  I coordinate home repair projects in a cooperative effort with Hope Builders and my church Rolling Hills Presbyterian.

 Why do you volunteer with HopeBUILDERS?

Service to others in our local community is a calling for me.  I grew up seeing my Dad help everyone in our extended family, everyone in the neighborhood and even complete strangers anytime they needed assistance.  He was a tremendous role model. There are many needs in our own neighborhoods and the impact is immediate. The smiles are the benefits.

If you were to encourage someone else to volunteer with us, what would you say?

HopeBUILDERS needs your help year-round to repair homes and build ramps.  Meeting the homeowner is heart-warming and working with this group is truly an active joyous fellowship.

Any favorite memories or projects that stand out?

I am currently working on a significant house repair for a Vietnam War veteran.  This project required many months of collaboration between the church, HopeBuilders and the Home Depot Foundation to assess the needs, estimate the costs, apply for a grant, recruit volunteers and execute the repairs.  I am most gratified to be working alongside our homeowner every day all day. He was one of the first to be diagnosed with PTSD from the Vietnam War and when we first met to talk about his needs he was troubled, scattered in his story and nervous as I would expect with this disability.  He is a totally different person now with a very congenial personality, steady in his thoughts and jovial all the time. I am rewarded every day.

 What makes HopeBUILDERS different than other KC area nonprofits?

HopeBuilders provided services all year long not just in one season or just on one day.  They don’t have a lot of qualifications or a long application with restrictions. The goal is to help as many as possible.

HopeBuilders wants to welcome as many volunteers as possible and while we work we get to know each other.  I especially enjoy getting to know the homeowners and letting them get to know me. We are from different parts of town but we are all neighbors.