Si Carmean

Si Carmean is shown here with his 2020 Ohio Habitat for Humanity Volunteer of the Year award.

MANSFIELD – Habitat for Humanity of Ohio has named Si Carmean the Volunteer of the Year for 2020. Carmean, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Richland and Crawford Counties (HFHRCC), was nominated by the local chapter.

“Si has been a Godsend to our affiliate,” HFHRCC Executive Director Veronna Drane said. “As the Executive Director for the past 17 years, I have had the privilege of working with a number of wonderful volunteers. However, none of them have been as giving as Si.”

Carmean, 83, is a graduate of Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He earned his Masters and PhD degrees from the Ohio State University.

According to Drane, Carmean has volunteered on new build and rehab sites, led volunteer groups, trained young Workforce Investment Act employees, and single-handedly constructed 50% of the fixtures in the former ReStore. And he isn’t slowing down.

Carmean continues to supervise volunteers as well as volunteer himself on job sites, most recently leading the rehab of a home acquired through foreclosure.

“He embodies the idea of helping others by patiently instructing each and every volunteer that he works with to ensure that they are taking as much away from the experience as they are giving,” Drane said.

Carmean has been volunteering with Habitat for over 30 years.

“I enjoy working with groups of all ages. They’re all different and all interesting,” Carmean said.

When asked why he volunteers he said it was simple.

“Bottom line is to help people.”

Habitat for Humanity serves as a bridge into home ownership for many individuals and families denied this opportunity through conventional pathways. Applicants are evaluated on a variety of parameters centered on ‘willingness to partner,’ ‘commitment to the program,’ financial stability, and completion of the ‘sweat equity’ requirements.

Habitat is a Fair Housing organization. If you are interested in applying for the program or in volunteering, visit their website at habitatofrcc.org.

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