Habitat for Humanity: Jimmy Carter Work Project team from Omaha

Omahans going to Haiti as part of the Habitat for Humanity Jimmy Carter Work Project:

DON BROWERS
Age: 61
Family: Wife of 40 years, Marjorie
Occupation: Retired from long television production and ad sales career in 2008. Freelances media work.
Connection to Habitat: Once hired a young, promising recent college graduate at Channel 3 who now runs communications for Habitat for Humanity. Tracie McPherson called Browers to involve him in Habitat, using his volunteer services in public relations and marketing. Tracie asked him about Haiti and his reaction was: “Where do I sign? It’s a unique opportunity to contribute something.”
Why he’s going to Haiti: “You don’t get so many opportunities to do something that is very real, very tangible.”

JOHN BUNCH
Age: 46
Family: Wife, Michelle. Daughters, Lauren, 21, Sophia, 11 and Lili, 7
Occupation: President, retail distribution for TD Ameritrade.
Connection to Habitat: His company since 2008 has dedicated time and money to help build 12 houses in five cities including Omaha, where TD Ameritrade workers celebrated their fourth Habitat home in August.
Haiti: He travels 30 weeks out of the year and has visited exotic places (Galapagos Islands, Japan, Europe, Cayman Islands). This is his first trip to Haiti. “I think the poverty is going to be the most challenging part. How can you make a difference when everything around you is falling apart?”

MARY LOPEZ
Age: 56
Occupation: Community volunteer; retired in August from UNO’s School of Public Administration placing interns and doing career counseling
Family: Husband, Rodrigo; adult children David Lopez (wife Sarah Grossman Lopez) and Ana Lopez
Connection to Habitat: Husband serves on advisory board, she is a member of Habitat’s corporate development committee and both have volunteered on builds, including one in San Francisco, “where I learned I’m not the best nail driver in the world.”
What she thinks she will find there: “Just the devastation and need among people who already had virtually nothing. It wasn’t that they were living in Paris. They were living in very, very dire poverty-stricken communities.”

SHANNON WALLACE
Age: 36
Family: son Ted, age 9
Occupation: Freelance media buyer and marketing consultant
Connection to Habitat: Serves on the advisory committee of the Habitat Restore, which offers quality new and used home maintenance and building supplies south of 24th and Leavenworth Streets. Newly interested in international Habitat Global Village trips. Went to Vietnam in 2010 and is planning to lead a group to Guatemala in 2012.
Vision: Once a work-a-holic media executive, Wallace realized she had everything. She quit her job and plans to sell her four-bedroom house (“a waste of a resource”) and downsize to a smaller place, part of her overall goal to simplify and become even more involved with Habitat.

Erin Grace

About Erin Grace

She's a World-Herald news reporter who covers an array of topics -- education, government and issues affecting women and children. She's married with three children.
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