True Stories

"Helping Hands" Volunteer Profile - Patrick Murphy 

For Patrick Murphy, being a Habitat volunteer is all about “helping people who want to help themselves.”

The New York native, who’s been in Florida since 1982, says he pretty much works on whatever Jeff Todd, master carpenter, needs to get done: the foundation, the roof, painting, you name it.

A married father of three and grandfather of three, he first got involved with Habitat for Humanity of Winter Park-Maitland through an old college roommate, who happens to run the Newburgh, NY affiliate. He told Patrick that “Habitat could use a guy like you.” As fate would divine, Patrick saw our announcement the next week in his church (St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, a longtime Habitat friend and sponsor) bulletin seeking volunteers. 

“Habitat improves the community as far as looks, cleanliness,” Patrick says. “And I think it affects other people to look after their own property. The whole community gets uplifted.”

His advice for rookie volunteers? Pay attention and ask questions. “For someone first coming to the worksite, it can get a little confusing with all the activity as to who’s in charge, who to go to with questions, who’s supervising, etc.”

And though the retired mechanical engineer is no slouch when it comes to working with his hands, his favorite part of coming out to the sites and working on Habitat houses is learning new skills. “I’m much better with a hammer,” he says.

Thanks for all that you do for the community, Patrick    

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Kassi Bernard at 407-645-4408 or