Don Varney, our Faith Relations Associate, has given 17 years of dedicated service to Habitat, and he’s decided to embark on his well-deserved retirement. Though we couldn’t possibly catalogue all of Don’s incredible work and achievements over the years, we want to take a moment to celebrate some of the highlights.
On June 28th, we gathered to commemorate 17 years of hard work, passion, persistence, faith, and love that have marked Don’s time with Habitat. Don has seen Habitat through many milestones, including the merge that created our East Bay/Silicon Valley affiliate, carrying on the momentum of the robust and deep-rooted faith partnerships he had built in the South Bay. For so many congregations in the South Bay, Don Varney is synonymous with Habitat – a result of the deep connections he has forged, and the myriad ways he has engaged the faith community in such efforts as our housing developments, our Housing Counseling Program, and Bridge Housing Communities. “Don brought that heart and soul of Habitat always to the forefront, and that was always number one,” said Janice Jensen, our President and CEO. “He never lost sight of that.”
Don has never been content to stay behind a desk. Don has driven three nails into every Habitat home he’s been a part of since he came on board in 2002. “I wanted to leave my contribution to Habitat homes,” Don said. Don has put nothing but love into the work he’s done with Habitat and went the extra nail to make sure his work didn’t stop in the office. He wanted to stay involved in every way possible.
Beyond building relationships with the faith groups and congregations we partner with today, he has also helped form the relationship our faith groups have with each other. With his unwavering faith and firm belief that everyone deserves a decent place to call home, Don has worked to build connections that bridge differences in faith and background – demonstrating that, united, we can build more.
He’s also had a tremendous impact on his colleagues. “He’s a great person to be friends with,” said Krysta, our Chief Development Officer. “He’s been a great support, always been there to talk to me and bounce ideas off of, and I really appreciate working with him for so long.”
Please join us as we celebrate and rejoice in all that Don has built with Habitat: the homes, partnerships, relationships, and community he has gathered to address the affordable housing crisis. Don’s time with Habitat has made a huge difference in so many lives, and his retirement leaves us with big shoes to fill. Thank you, Don, and we wish you the best on your next journey!