The best thing about volunteering is the satisfaction that comes with being able to help someone else.
David Blixt, originally from Plattsburg, has called Champlain, NY home for the past 40 years. David's worked many jobs during his long career. As a young man, he was a member of Ski Patrol; later, he became an EMT; then a volunteer fire fighter. Always good with his hands, he's worked in construction and the maintenance department of Wyeth Pharmaceutical. Retired for the past decade, he splits his time between Vermont and Florida, building homes for two chapters of Habitat for Humanity. His wife Ella, also a Habitat for Humanity Volunteer, will be joining David on the cruise.
David is a life-long volunteer, who still dedicates 10 to 12 hour days to helping those in need. He is the only original surviving member of the Champlain EMS, where he started volunteering in the early 70s. He's served as President of the Clinton County Firefighters Association, and the VP of the Champlain Niagara Hose Fire Company, as well as a council member of the Knights of Columbus, and a Fourth Degree Past Faithful Navigator. He hosts Thanksgiving Dinners for the needy and homebound, and serves on the Board of Directors for his housing community. Currently, he dedicates the majority of his week to both the Franklin/Grand Isle, VT and the Sarasota County, FL Chapters of Habitat for Humanity.
"I got involved with Habitat for Humanity in 2006 when my wife's daughter, who moved to Florida and had trouble finding a job and a house, was selected for a Habitat Home," says David. In order to qualify for the home, she needed to perform hundreds of hours of community service while working on the house herself. She had found a part time job, and was having trouble meeting the community service requirement, so David decided to help. He started working for Habitat, putting in 40 to 50 hours a week, and giving his hours to his daughter to meet her obligation. He loved it so much that he got Ella involved. To date, David's helped build approximately 23 homes.
During the summers, David devotes his days to the Franklin/Grand Isle Habitat, where he helped build one of the very first houses for that chapter. Over the years, He's worked to transform a tiny warehouse in Highgate Center, VT into a sizable store, from where his efforts help to raise between $8,000 and $10,000 each month for the organization. "For me, satisfaction comes with being able to care for someone else," says David. "I just enjoy helping people."