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

University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

University of Florida President Bernie Machen participated in the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Monday. Machen nominated all YouTube viewers as well as the president of UF Student Government and the vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


State Buys Land For Florida Greenway

State park managers have said they will be buying or trading land in Marion, Palm Beach, and Jackson counties. This is to fill the gaps of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a recreational outdoor area that spans 110 [...]


The charred remains of a Levy County home are all that remain following a fire that killed two people early Wednesday morning, August 20, 2014. (Virginia Hamrick/WUFT News)

Two People Die in Levy County Home Fire

Local law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a mobile home fire that occurred in Levy County early Wednesday morning.  Lt. Scott Tummond of Levy County Sheriff’s Office said the Bronson Fire Department responded to calls at [...]


George Young, former owner of Mom's Kitchen, a local soul-food restaurant and gathering place, talks about the memories of the cultural landmark following its demolition.

Residents Collect Memories of Mom’s Kitchen

  Gainesville is saying goodbye to a neighborhood treasure following the demolition of the historic restaurant that served as a soul food and entertainment center for decades. Mom’s Kitchen, which was owned and operated by George Young and his family [...]


Claudia Aguilar, the mother of slain University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, cries with family in the family's private room at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center following the guilty verdict of Pedro Bravo Friday, August 15, 2014.  Bravo was found guilty of first degree murder. (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Pictures: Pedro Bravo Guilty Verdict


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