Meet Our Volunteers
We couldn't have the impact that we do without all of our hard-working, dependable, and committed volunteers! We will be posting our volunteer spotlights on this page to honor our volunteers who have served NCHFH and our community in exceptional ways.
Larry & Rita Wilson
Larry and Rita Wilson began volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity in 2000. From our location in Senoia to Highway 16, Pine Road, and then finally to our current location on Bullsboro Drive, the Wilsons were faithful regular volunteers up until late 2019. Together, the Wilsons assisted at the first location with customer support. Larry rode with the Habitat ReStore driver helping with donation pickups and did mechanical and maintenance work in the ReStore. Rita was a cashier, worked in the back room, and the Affiliate Office.
The Wilsons chose to make NCHFH their volunteer home because they felt it was a good fit for their respective talents and they found it to be a worthwhile organization that helps with a hand up, not a hand out. “Volunteering with this organization gave us a great sense of purpose in realizing the little bit we could do DOES make a difference in our community and for those who are in the Homes program.”
In their spare time, the Wilsons enjoy physical fitness, local travel, eating in local restaurants to support their community, reading, and gardening. They enjoy a weekly breakfast with their Eastern Airline friends and Rita enjoys monthly dinners with past Habitat volunteers.
Here are some words of wisdom from Larry and Rita to others who are considering volunteering: “Consider volunteering your time; the sense of satisfaction in realizing we can make a difference no matter how small our contribution (especially time). Tasks assigned can be a learning experience for the work that a person has never done previously.”
Peter Hendrick has been volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity since July of 2019. After serving as a volunteer firefighter for nearly 20 years and a career in marketing and sales, Peter sought a new volunteer opportunity when he moved to Fayetteville. He chose NCHFH because he could use his skills, give back to his community, and tap into his home renovation passion.
The Roberts Road project was Peter’s first NCHFH volunteer experience, and he began helping with construction after the framing was finished all the way through the final prep. His goal is to help volunteers feel like they have truly contributed to the cause and hopefully walk away with a skill which will help them in their own home.
Even when Peter is not swinging hammers with us, he enjoys “home-based” renovation and restoration projects – his tools never get a rest! Peter and his wife have renovated over 14 homes together, yet he says that on nearly every NCHFH project he walks away with an acquired or enhanced skill he has yet to experience on his personal projects. He and his wife also enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Peter’s words of wisdom to others who are considering volunteering: “No matter your skill set or capability, you will make a contribution to the NCHFH cause. More importantly, you will increase your personal home management capability from the projects you work on and the team members you are partnered with. Not to mention, you get a chance to meet and work with some truly awesome people!”
Thank you, Peter, for your dedication to our mission and our volunteers!
Jeff Turner has been volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity since January of 2020. In high school and college, Jeff framed and remodeled homes. As a homeowner and rental property owner, he has enjoyed doing his own home improvement projects. After retiring, Jeff was searching for a way to give back to his community and fill his time. Habitat was a perfect fit! He first joined NCHFH wanting to build houses. Awaiting build opportunities, he volunteers at the ReStore in the lighting department and helps with Brush with Kindness projects. Jeff has also assisted with landscaping and signage for our East Broad Estates development.
When he’s not swinging hammers or helping out in the ReStore, Jeff is a family guy. He enjoys spending time with his two adult children, their children (one grandbaby and one on the way!), and his dogs. He also cares for his in-laws. His hobbies include traveling, ancestry, golfing, and GA Bulldog football.
Here are some words of wisdom Jeff has for others who are considering volunteering: “If you have a heart to help, there is nothing more rewarding than allowing your time, talent, and treasure to benefit those who are less fortunate. Be it helping someone in the ReStore or restoring someone’s home in a Brush with Kindness project – it all starts with a heart to help.”
Thank you, Jeff, for using your time, talent, and treasure to help others!
Dennis began volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity in December 2011 at the Pine Road location. After working for 35 years at a factory in northern Illinois making switches for Honeywell, he moved to Newnan in 2010. He feels that his decision to volunteer at the ReStore was a calling that came from his heart.
For two years at the ReStore on Pine Road, Dennis’ primary role was assisting customers with flooring, windows, and doors. He then became a regular assistant to the driver, picking up and dropping off donations. Currently, he helps in the lighting department.
The highlight of Dennis' volunteer experience has been going out on the truck and meeting different kinds of people. He enjoys building relationships with people and being helpful. Specifically, he enjoyed going out of his way to help people who were elderly.
In his spare time, Dennis enjoys woodworking. He makes cabinets, tables, picture frames, and trivets and likes to give them as gifts. He and his wife live in Newnan part-time and also have a second home in Wisconsin, where they visit family for a few months out of each year.
Here are some words of wisdom Dennis has for others who are considering volunteering: “Volunteer because you want to, not because you have to. Do the best you can.”
Thank you, Dennis, for your many years of faithful service to NCHFH and our community!
Theresa James has been volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity since July 2015. She chose to volunteer because she loves helping and giving back to the community, and she especially appreciated that the entire team shared the same passion.
The housewares section of the ReStore is where Theresa chooses to spend her time almost every Saturday, organizing and beautifying the shelves. She takes such ownership of the area that we affectionately refer to it as T’s Row! Theresa believes that if someone can see something displayed neatly on the shelves or displayed on a piece of furniture, they can more easily envision it in their own home.
Theresa’s favorite part of volunteering is when she finishes a display that she’s particularly proud of and someone purchases it immediately, although she will make jokes saying, “I just finished that display!” always with a smile on her face and in her heart. She views it as her way of helping with the mission and enjoys seeing it happen before her eyes. Since she’s at a computer all day for work, she enjoys getting to move around, express herself, and get others excited about new treasures.
When she’s not volunteering, Theresa is a paralegal with the Taylor English Duma law firm in Atlanta, GA, where she’s worked for 26 years. She also enjoys spending time with her family, boyfriend, and friends. She loves enjoying their adventures with or through them when they’re together.
Theresa’s words of wisdom to others who are considering volunteering: “Regardless of what capacity you volunteer, when you meet someone that has been helped by the mission – put a face to a final product – it changes you. You get a real feel for what they went through and where they are. And what was a blessing to them is now a blessing for all. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Leon has been volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity since February of 2011. Having been raised in a small town in Missouri, Leon learned by example that helping others was a way of life. Some of the ways he’s helped include serving on mission trips with his church and being a member of a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team. With this team, Leon has helped with recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and natural disasters in Houston, TX; Pine Bluff, AR; Bainbridge, GA; and Newnan, GA.
While working full-time as an accountant for The William L. Bonnell Company, Leon occasionally volunteered on Habitat builds. After retiring in 2007, Leon began volunteering in the ReStore’s “back office” cleaning and fixing lighting, which is the area in which he volunteers to this day at our current location on Bullsboro. When he’s not volunteering at the ReStore, Leon can be found renovating and repairing his home.
According to Leon, the best part of volunteering with Habitat has been the people he has had the privilege of working with. He has found that whenever he has helped others, he received a blessing as big – if not bigger – than those he was helping. Leon’s words of wisdom to others who are considering volunteering: “if after helping others, you don’t feel like you’ve been blessed, then you probably need to find something else to do with your time.”
Cathy began volunteering with NCHFH in the fall of 2019. Her love for construction was ignited while on mission trips in the U.S. and overseas where she helped build houses. She reached out to NCHFH to volunteer on construction, but since there was no build in progress in 2019, she began volunteering in the ReStore and on a few Brush with Kindness projects.
In the ReStore, Cathy assists with donations processing and helps keep the store clean and tidy. Her favorite part of volunteering has been getting to know the other volunteers, staff, and shoppers. Cathy says, “I feel like I’m doing a small part to help the next person move into their own home and make my little corner of the world a better place.”
A retired teacher, Cathy enjoys going to the gym, serving on the PTC Running Club board and walking with other club members, and participating as a Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer. Volunteering is truly in her blood!
Here are some words of wisdom Cathy has for others who are considering volunteering: “Do it – jump in and get involved! You will be warmly welcomed and you will make friends while doing an important service for your community. You won’t regret it.”
Thank you, Cathy, for your service to NCHFH and your community!
Eva began volunteering at Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in November 2021. Having just moved from California, she was renovating her newly purchased 1881 cottage in Newnan and would shop at the store for items to use in the renovation. After the manager repeatedly asked her if he could hire her, she chose to volunteer her time. Eva finds pieces that have potential and cleans, repairs, paints, and upholsters them so customers can enjoy items that have been made “new” again.
Volunteering at the ReStore has helped Eva learn new skills and perfect her craft. She has also used her creativity to stage a new Habitat home for our house tours and decorate for Habitat events. Eva feels she has gained another family in the ReStore staff and volunteers, and we feel the same way about her!
When she’s not volunteering for Habitat, Eva raises chickens and ducks. For the first, time she has newly hatched chickens rather than buying them from a hatchery. The fresh eggs are also a great bonus!
Eva’s words of wisdom to others who are considering volunteering: “If you love to work with your hands, or have a professional skill set such as carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, or painting, this is a phenomenal place to give back to your community and help someone become skilled in a new trade!”
Thank you, Eva, for offering your skill sets to help and teach us, mentoring other volunteers, and helping keep items out of landfills!
Marty Fleming’s history with Habitat for Humanity predates his memory of when it began. Before he started volunteering with NCHFH on new builds in 2008, Marty volunteered on construction projects with Habitat for Humanity in New Jersey. Since 2008, he has volunteered on several new builds while consistently volunteering at NCHFH’s ReStore testing and repairing electronics.
In his spare time, Marty can be found on the tennis courts. In New Jersey, he was a skier but donated his skis after moving to Georgia for lack of nearby opportunities. Marty is also a music buff and always has tunes playing for everyone to enjoy.
With a career in engineering, programming, and technical management, Marty finds it natural to use his skills to help others. Marty’s words of wisdom to others who are considering volunteering: “We all have at least one talent. Use it to help those who are less fortunate.”
Thank you, Marty, for making this world a better place with your volunteer service and your zest for life!
Kirby Belwood has been volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity since 2011. Kirby's dedication to helping others began after he retired and moved from California to Georgia in 2009. Every Thursday morning, Kirby brings his expertise to the table, testing, repairing, cleaning, and pricing lighting and electrical fixtures with precision and care.
But volunteering isn't just about getting the job done for Kirby; it's about building relationships and making connections. For him, the most meaningful part of volunteering has been forming lasting friendships with his fellow volunteers. When he's not lending a helping hand, Kirby enjoys fishing and creating beautiful, handcrafted pottery.
For those who are considering volunteering, Kirby has some valuable advice: " If you’re looking for a rewarding experience and meeting some terrific people, volunteering at NCHFH fits that bill."
Thank you, Kirby, for choosing to make NCHFH your volunteer home! We value the impact you have – not just in the lighting and electronics department, but in the lives of those who know you.
Alec Leos is a great example of the power of volunteering. He began volunteering with Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity in December 2017. Alec volunteers in the ReStore, processing donations and assisting customers. He has also taken on the role of Grinch for our annual Great Gingerbread Build for the past few years.
Being involved in the community and helping others are a couple of reasons why Alec chooses to volunteer. In addition to volunteering, Alec enjoys writing children’s books, drawing, designing homes on his Sims video game, and collecting books and movies.
Alec believes that helping others and giving back when possible are important parts of life. He also enjoys meeting new people and working with other volunteers.
For those who are considering volunteering, Alec’s advice is simple: “Just go for it. You will get more out of helping others than just giving your time.”
We are so thankful for Alec’s involvement with NCHFH and his commitment to helping others and giving back to the community!
Meet Fred Freeney, an exceptional volunteer at Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity since 2022. Driven by his love for houses and Habitat’s vital role in the community, Fred has become an invaluable member of our team.
Fred’s commitment to serving others is reflected in the diverse array of projects he undertakes. He generously participates in both new construction and critical home repair projects. He can also be found contributing his skills at the ReStore unloading trucks, assisting customers, and lending a hand in the electrical area. In everything he undertakes, he’s always finding ways to help others and brighten everyone’s day.
Fred finds the most fulfilling aspect of volunteering to be changing people’s lives and expanding his knowledge of home construction. When he’s not volunteering, Fred enjoys kayaking, fishing, hiking, vacationing in Florida, and spending time with his wife, Danna.
His advice to anyone considering volunteering is, “Donate a skill and walk away with two. When you give, you always learn.”
Thank you, Fred, for being an inspiring example of how one person can make a significant difference in our community.
Meet Don Davison! Don joined the Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity family in the fall of 2021, and he's been making a big impact ever since!
Don was looking for something meaningful to occupy his time, and that's when he began volunteering on our new home builds. Whether it's new construction or critical home repairs, Don is always there, ready to lend a helping hand. His dedication and experience make him an amazing mentor to others as he serves as one of our construction lead volunteers, training and guiding new volunteers.
When Don isn't busy changing lives, you can find him on the golf course, exploring the great outdoors, or traveling the countryside. His adventurous spirit knows no bounds!
Don's advice to anyone considering volunteering with us: "Come help out on any project Habitat is doing - you will have fun!"
We couldn't be more grateful for Don's commitment and the positive impact he's making in our community. Thank you, Don, for being an inspiration to us all!
Emily Webb began volunteering with NCHFH in 2018, joining the Board of Directors. The decision to volunteer with NCHFH was driven by her desire to give back to her community and her connection to the real estate industry during her 9-5 job. She believes that housing is an essential need and a building block for generational wealth, and NCHFH perfectly aligns with her values.
As a volunteer, Emily has played a central role in the Executive Board, starting as Secretary and working her way up to Vice President before ultimately assuming the role of President. Her dedication to NCHFH's mission is fueled by her interactions with homeowners, and she fondly recalls the recent home blessing for Gloria Sanders. Witnessing the home filled with volunteers, friends, family, and community members further ignited her passion for NCHFH's cause.
Outside of volunteering, Emily is an attorney at Lawson, Beck, & Sandlin LLC, specializing in real estate transactions and estate planning/probate work. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and attending live music events with her husband. She's also an active member of the Newnan Junior Service League, always seeking ways to contribute to her community.
To those considering volunteering, Emily offers a simple yet powerful piece of advice - "Don't hesitate, just do it! Jump in and get involved. This is an amazing organization that impacts our community in such a valuable way. Getting your hands dirty on a build, pitching in at the ReStore, or attending an event like the Tin Cup Golf Tournament or the Great Gingerbread Build are fantastic opportunities to really experience the organization and the mission. You will be working next to other volunteers who have the same heart for the community as you and there isn’t a better way to get a sense of your community or to give back to it.”
We are so grateful to have Emily as an integral part of our Habitat for Humanity family. Her dedication to affordable homeownership and her passion for giving back to the community continue to inspire us all. Thank you, Emily, for your invaluable contributions and commitment to our mission.
Meet Denise Presley, one of Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity’s valued volunteers since 2014. Her journey of volunteerism began fueled by an admiration for NCHFH's Christian-based mission, which emphasizes uplifting individuals with a 'hand up,' a philosophy that deeply resonated with her belief in lasting empowerment.
Denise has been dedicated to various roles at NCHFH, forming a strong bond with our mission. Starting with her invaluable contributions to the Homeowner Services Committee, where she has embraced leadership roles including the presidency, Denise's commitment has been unwavering. Her influence extended to the Board of Directors, where she moved up in the ranks from member to President, completing her BOD service in 2022. Alongside these responsibilities, Denise has enjoyed rolling up her sleeves for hands-on work, volunteering at special events and on new construction and repair projects.
Among the many moments she holds dear, Denise's most heartwarming memories stem from witnessing the transformative journey of strong, hard-working people growing and developing into homeowners. Meeting applicants at the beginning of their path and witnessing their growth has been a humbling and gratifying experience that fuels her dedication.
When she's not volunteering, Denise serves as the Banking Center Manager at Bank OZK in Senoia. She is an active member of SouthCrest Church, and beyond that, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, dining, and listening to live music.
Denise wholeheartedly encourages those considering volunteering to take the leap: "Volunteering is so rewarding, just do it! We were made to serve others; it is our duty as humans. Helping others builds a better community for everyone and giving your time is the best gift of all. At NCHFH there are so many options to volunteer, whether on a build nailing boards or painting, working in the Restore fixing something or organizing or promoting donations…the options are endless.”
Lorraine Cunanan has been a dedicated member of our Habitat for Humanity family since 2016 when she first joined as a board member. An architect with nearly two decades of experience in Newnan, Lorraine saw the growing need for affordable and well-designed housing in her community. She knew NCHFH was the answer, and she's been an integral part of our mission ever since.
During her time on the NCHFH executive board from 2016 to 2019, Lorraine served as board secretary and then began lending her architectural expertise to the organization. She has generously donated her services to design projects like the current ReStore location and the East Broad Estates development.
Lorraine finds the most rewarding moments in our groundbreaking ceremonies and home blessings at East Broad. Witnessing the hard work of families, the support of volunteers, sponsors, and our staff inspires her to continue making a difference.
Beyond her volunteer work, Lorraine is a small business owner, running Locus Design + Consulting in Newnan, specializing in residential and commercial architectural design. She is also an active member of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, which is deeply involved with Habitat's ReStore and construction projects. Family time is her top priority, as she enjoys moments with her husband Romel and son Jalen, who's also been involved with ReStore. When she's not designing or with her family, you'll find Lorraine cooking, gardening, or catering to her three very demanding cats.
Her message to potential volunteers: "Just do it! Everyone has unique skills and experiences to bring to the table, so don't worry if you've never swung a hammer or
worked a cash register—there are countless ways that you can contribute. I especially encourage all types of professionals to consider offering pro bono services to non-profits in their community—your expertise can really benefit organizations like NCHFH."
Thank you, Lorraine, for your partnership and commitment to our mission!