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

Assistant Fire Chief JoAnne Rice inspects an emergency exit sign outside her office at Gainesville Fire Rescue. Proper lighting, signage and open doorways are critical mainstays of a compliant fire inspection.

Majority Of Fire Inspections Don’t Check Out

The newest data on Gainesville’s statGNV shows that over half of all existing buildings in Gainesville received some type of violation. These violations include broken emergency exit signs, incorrect outlet cover plates and untested sprinkler systems.


12 Residents Seek Shelter After Explosion At Southwest Villas Apartment

An explosion at Southwest Villas on Thursday night displaced 12 residents. The cause of the explosion is unknown.


For three months, 35-year-old Sisco Black and his wife have been homeless. When they first came to Grace Marketplace, they relied heavily on the amenities, but now they have become self-sufficient.

Grace Marketplace Completes Homeless Census

The usual sound of birds wasn’t what woke the residents of Grace Marketplace Thursday morning. Grace Marketplace, 2845 NE 39th Ave., held their annual homeless census count on Thursday that lasted from 5:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Alachua County Coalition for the […]


Director of Kofi Adu-Brempong Documentary Talks Racism, Police Militarization

“In His Own Home” is a documentary about the police shooting of University of Florida graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong. The film’s director spoke with WUFT about how the 2010 incident relates to current national issues.


B7ue4wNIAAA5twE

MLK Day Celebration Presents Scholarship, Honors Gainesville Community Leader

Monday morning, people gathered around Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial statue downtown to see Vivian Haynes inducted into the MLK Commission of Florida’s Hall of Fame.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments