Categories: Volunteer, Habitat Tucson

Why I Partner: Dorothy

“How can I be content if I know other people are suffering?”

When you “look for the helpers” at Habitat Tucson, Dorothy Riley is one of the first that comes to mind.

Dorothy volunteers her time every week at the front desk at the Habitat Tucson office, answering the phones and greeting visitors. She is a fountain of information, eager to direct folks to resources. She also volunteers as a family partner, mentoring homebuyers on their homeownership journey. Dorothy has palpable respect for the families with whom she’s partnered. 

“They’re very courageous women,” Dorothy says. “The second family I mentored, she was 21. Two kids. And she got the house built. What an accomplishment! I just admire her courage, her resilience and everything. What’s not to admire!” 

Dorothy’s lifelong experience as a nurse means she understands the long-term impact a safe home has on people. Often, folks with poor mental health live in poor housing, making their mental health worse. Affordable housing can help break that cycle—and can especially positively affect children. 

“Giving that child a sense of stability is essential,” Dorothy says. “It’s extremely important for them to know that they are loved.” 

Dorothy also generously gives financially every year. The way she sees it, it is our responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. She knows the work Habitat does requires funds—to recruit volunteers, provide outreach to families, purchase building materials, and advertise our services. And she feels fortunate to be able to help.

“You cannot justify poverty,” Dorothy says with conviction. “How can I be content if I know other people are suffering?” 

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