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Habitat News

Senior Crew Spotlight | Penny Bernard Schaber

Tell us about your background/family:
Dale and I have been married for 26 years and have lived in Appleton for 43 and 34 years respectively. We both came to Appleton as young professionals and now consider Appleton to be our home. We have been active volunteers with the Marigold Mile along South Oneida Street and with the Fox Valley Sierra Group. Our families are in Milwaukee and northern Illinois. Dale is a retired Librarian from the Appleton School District and I am a retired Physical Therapist and retired State Representative.PennyBernardSchaber

What led you to volunteer for Habitat?
As a young child, I was always outside playing or working in the dirt, or taking apart my bicycle and putting it back together. How things are put together and how something is built has always fascinated me. Using this built in fascination and added energy in something productive has helped me enjoy retirement. Work on projects for Habitat helps me to be more productive and to feel physically tired at the end of the day. That is always a good feeling

What has surprised you the most about Habitat?
I was amazed at how fast a home was built from the foundation in the ground to the shingles on the roof to the paint on the walls and a family moving into the home. The number of people and hours it takes to build a home in the short time span is astounding. The system used by Habitat worldwide to promote families being directly connected to and responsible for their homes and then connected to their neighbors is a wonderful part of Habitat. I am very happy to be a small part of the process.

When not volunteering for Habitat, how do you spend your time?
Dale and I are avid gardeners with a yard full of flowers and vegetables. I volunteer at the Partnership Community Health Center providing Physical Therapy for some of their clients and I’m active with the Fox Valley Memory Project. Traveling, biking and cross country skiing keep us busy throughout the year.

What might surprise the person working with you on a Habitat project?
In 1990 I was able to complete a goal of mine by riding my bicycle across the country from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Maine and then got married a week after I got home from the trip. Dale and I have met one of his goals by hiking the entire Ice Age Trail in sections through Wisconsin. Together we hiked about 1,100 miles in Wisconsin.

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