WUFT News

Habitat for Humanity volunteer won’t stop after four decades

By on October 18th, 2012

There’s no stopping Jan LeDuc.

Her children say, “Mother, it’s time,” but the 82-year-old won’t hear their pleas.

LeDuc could have resigned herself to a retired life of leisure, but she prefers moving furniture, caulking windows, and going Dumpster diving for parts around home sites for Habitat for Humanity. She’s volunteered for the organization since 1986, building houses for needy families in Alachua County, and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I’ve always tried to go the extra mile,” she said. “I needed to keep busy.”

LeDuc didn’t tire after teaching first grade for more than 30 years in the Alachua County School District. Her coworkers at Habitat know her as fiery and hardworking; she just hurries them back to their tasks.

“What you see is what you get,” she said, describing herself.

LeDuc’s first experience with the organization had her hooked. It took place through her church, when members traveled to build houses in Appalachia. She admired the program’s cause and how families received interest-free mortgages for their new houses. She returned and became active with Habitat for Humanity locally as a family partner, staying with families during the building process.

Four decades later, LeDuc continues to help local families. It’s an emotional experience that has kept her coming back.

“When the homeowner realized they are holding the keys to a house that belonged to them, you’re just there, it’s part of your life from that point on.”

LeDuc can’t labor on building sites the same way that she used to, but her age won’t slow her down from spreading Habitat for Humanity’s message. She wants others to contribute and will continue to help for as long as she can.

“That’s my difference — making the difference in their lives,” she said.

Prospective volunteers can find more information on involvement at the organization’s website, www.alachuahabitat.org.

George Pappas edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.grundmann.73 Tim Grundmann

    Momma Duc is the greatest EVER. She thinks she’s 30 and as an adopted family member- I LOVE HER! I hope she’s around when I’m 80. Who’s gonna take care of ME? :):)

 

More Stories in Local

Park visitors enjoy a day in the crystal clear waters at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Guests can enjoy tubing from the north entrance beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Ichetucknee Springs Reopens Entrance for Memorial Day

Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.


Deputy County Manager Betty Baker speaks to the Gainesville City Commission on the need for regulations at the homeless camp Dignity Village. Thursday, commissioners approved to spend up to $50,000 to secure an emergency contract with a non-profit provider.

City Commission Grants Gainesville Management Of Dignity Village

Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.


Gina Eaton (left), a 34-year-old graduate student at UF, and Heather Petroccia, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student at UF, clean out buckets to prepare them to mix grout for the tiles.

Habitat For Humanity Build Programs Empower Women

National Women Build Week was May 2-10. Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build participated in the weeklong event.


GPD

Gainesville Police Department Recruiting Video Raises Concern

A Gainesville Police Department recruitment video has raised concerns over how it portrays how the police interact with the community. The video included scenes of police officers making arrests, chasing suspects and weapons training.


Lisa Lee Savage has experienced substance abuse and served time in prison. With help from local homeless shelter GRACE Marketplace, though, she overcame those challenges to make a new life for herself. Photo courtesy of Lisa Lee Savage

Saving Grace: One Woman’s Story Of Overcoming Adversity

Lisa Lee Savage was a substance abuser and she broke the rules, but she also overcame adversity. Now, she works as an administrative assistant and receptionist at the GRACE Welcome Center.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments