The rewards of being a volunteer crew leader with Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County are whatever you make of them, according to Bill Droste.

Bill would know. His volunteer work at a church-sponsored Habitat build site expanded into 20 years of dedicated service with Habitat Orlando & Osceola.

“Habitat became a habit,” he joked.

Bill watched Habitat Orlando & Osceola grow from a single supervisor getting construction underway with a school bus containing equipment and tools brought by crew leaders, to an “army” of construction crew and volunteers stocked with a trailer of tools and equipment.

The crew leader title evolved from occasional extra responsibilities for regular volunteers, to being a dedicated member of the team.

“We’re there to help,” Bill said. “The title just puts us in a different column.”

Crew leader Bill explains a task to a volunteer at a Habitat Orlando & Osceola build site.

Crew leaders consistently give back to Habitat Orlando & Osceola, guide fellow volunteers through construction tasks, meet new people – and escape from their typical day-to-day by “hitting nails,” Bill said.

“It’s nice to be a comfort to the staff or site supervisors,” he said. “They can rely on us to get the job done and get it done right.”

For Bill, working hard beyond his desk job was a major attraction.

“When you’re in the corporate world, it’s all mental and not physical,” he said. “When you’re on a construction site, it’s both mental and physical.”

Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s “end game” – moving people into homes – is also “quite honorable,” Droste said.

It can be hard work, but Bill hopes to stick with his volunteering “until he can’t.”

“If I don’t get too cranky in my old age, I hope they let me come out.”

Habitat Orlando & Osceola is looking for crew leaders. Not sure if you’re up for being a crew leader? Consider the following piece of supper table advice from Bill’s dad: “Try it, you’ll like it.”

“Of course, that was at the supper table,” Bill admitted with a laugh.

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