Family Highlight- April 2018
This month we are proud to highlight the new Executive Director at Aransas County Habitat for Humanity, Patty Butters!
On August 24th, a Category 4 Hurricane rolled through Aransas County, destroying countless homes and businesses; the town would never be the same. Patty was working for the City of Rockport at the time, and they were taking calls from residents the moment the doors reopened after the storm. Their town was ravaged by desperation, hopelessness and fear, and Patty felt like she was on the front lines every time she answered the phone. Her knowledge of Habitat for Humanity prior to Harvey was minimal, but she was aware of the program.
Aransas Habitat has, for some time, been in a season of small repair of exterior of homes, roofs, wheel chair ramps, etc. They could help the most amount of people through smaller projects than very few with large home building projects. All of this changed after Harvey, a local company very generously offered a one million dollar donation to help Aransas Habitat repair damaged homes. Patty got word of this through a local volunteer who has led the charge with Aransas Habitat for years, and decided to help him reach out to families who needed assistance, resulting in 25 families with repair assessments reaching one million dollars in damage. The screening process was grueling, but she loved every minute of it. Patty got up early and stayed up late looking for people that could benefit from this assistance.
Patty was honored to be part of a coalition with Habitat for Humanity Texas and Trinity Habitat for Humanity that spearheaded repairs for these initial 25 families. Patty reflects on this point of her journey saying “At this point we realized that it was time to ramp up the activity of Aransas Habitat for the long haul. It became clear that Aransas Habitat would need a full-time staff, and my involvement, passion and experience with the construction world led to an opportunity as Executive Director. I can not imagine a place I would rather be than in this position and at this time in our community.”
Recently, Patty spent two days qualifying families for critical home repair. Everyone that they visited were in dire need of help, but one specifically stood out to her. She was tired and losing hope that she would ever be able to recover from the impact of this storm. Through their conversation, Patty learned that she had volunteered with the first four Habitat homes in Rockport. “The cycle of helping and being helped promoted so heavily in Habitat’s vision was right in front of me,” Patty states, “and it was another reminder that I was right where I belonged.”
Patty has always been active in the local church in Rockport. While not part of many formal organizations or committees, it’s always been her heart to pitch in and help where needs arise in the church. Patty’s most recent involvement has been on the First Baptist Rockport Building committee.
Reflecting on her faith, Patty says “I do not know where I would be without my faith. Life has thrown me a few curve balls, and I have always valued the community of a church family and my own family rooted in the hope I have in Christ. Without that, I can’t even say that I would be in this position right now with Habitat for Humanity.”
Fun Facts! The loves of Paty’s life are her four children, ranging in age from 37 to 14, and three grandsons. This means she has been raising children for 37 years. Being a mom is about all that she knows, and it has been her greatest joy. She also loves quiet time with a good book on a swing in her backyard and noisy family gathers with all the people she loves.