Carole Hedstrom’s warm smile is a welcoming beacon to volunteers as they arrive at Habitat’s Brooklyn Pines build site in SE Portland. As a volunteer site host, Carole ensures that volunteers are properly checked-in, suited up with safety gear and ready for the day ahead, while helping keep the build site tidy and organized. Carole’s friendliness helps put volunteers at ease, especially if they are new to Habitat. After her site host duties, she hops right into constructions tasks, grabbing a paint brush or hammer and working alongside other volunteers.

“I volunteer with Habitat because I love the cause of home ownership.  I enjoy being on a construction site and seeing a home evolve from a hole in the ground, some 2x4s and siding, to a full-fledged home with laughter and smells of dinner.”

After working in advertising and corporate marketing, Carole is now a Certified Kitchen Designer working part-time with a small consulting group. As an interior designer, she creates beauty within the spaces that people call home. But her work goes beyond just designing beautiful spaces, the same way that Habitat’s work extends deeper than the cement slabs the houses stand upon. Both are rooted in the passion to build community, be that around the kitchen table or throughout the neighborhood. As Carole puts it, the stable homes and communities that Habitat and its supporters help build provide the stepping stone to a more financially secure way of life for many people.

“I have long realized that a stable place to call home is one of the most important things in our lives. Everyone should have a safe place to live and thrive.”

Carole’s friend works at a Habitat affiliate in California and is a strong advocate of Habitat’s work, piquing Carole’s interest in supporting Habitat both financially and physically. After volunteering with Habitat regularly for over a year, her biggest take away is realizing how many other like-minded people, businesses and organizations are out there. She says, “so many other volunteers have been giving their time and money for years, day by day, dollar by dollar, for so long. I feel naïve and somewhat of a newbie, but hope to continue my volunteering days for a long time to come.” Carole lives with her husband Brad in SE Portland, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Brooklyn Pines. She enjoys getting outdoors and exploring the Pacific Northwest, whether it be hiking, cycling, gardening, or playing catch with her dog.