Gloria Byrd Comes to Oregon and ends up serving as Secretary on Newberry Habitat Board
Driving across country to start a new life was the beginning of Gloria Byrd becoming part of the Newberry Habitat Board of Directors. It isn’t quite that straightforward, but after Gloria decided that the Sunriver area was where she wanted to be, everything started to fall into place like she was destined to be here! Here is her story:
Gloria moved to the area seven years ago from the Annapolis area. She settled herself in the woods she had grown to love over the years and made a home for herself. Five years ago, one of her close new friends asked her to think about being part of Newberry Habitat. She showed up at an appointment to get information about the Habitat organization and ended up being interviewed by past President, Barbara Wade, and former Executive Director, Randy Heiss. She was in!
Gloria and her friend Dorae Simon spent some quality time together selling tickets for a Habitat fundraiser: a quilt raffle. She was able to see events everywhere in La Pine and Sunriver and she saw many wonderful organizations and met lots of great people. After a year of serving on the Board of Directors, she became the Board Secretary. Although Gloria admits that she is no fundraiser and she is not a builder and she isn’t even one of those People Persons with a capital P, she is instead, a detail oriented person who gets the administrative side of everything and how organizations should flow more easily- for the Executive Director and the organization itself. And she has become a treasured part of the NHFH office and Board, winning a special award for service at this year’s Award Luncheon held at the Senior Center.
Gloria is ‘The organizer’ in the organization. She put together the recent Women Build event in May, and she is always ready with a clip board or to put together a meal to help out the volunteers who show up to help Habitat at their events. Her favorite part of being at Habitat is watching the keys to a new home be turned over to the new homeowners. “They are so proud to own their own home and you see it in their faces.”
Since she spends her time thinking about the community, she has some interesting opinions about how great it would be to introduce kids to a Youth Program that ties into local builders. It could teach them about community and how important it is to have knowledge about what it takes to have a great town, be a homeowner, and be a real part of building a community from the ground up. She has even considered an ex officio student member to serve on the board- like the City Council has done in La Pine!
One of her dreams is to have a satellite office in La Pine, and she believes that now is the time to highlight the strong relationships that are growing because of Habitat for Humanity.
Gloria shops at the ReStore, like most people in the area, and she has scored some real bargains.
She stays in the organization because she loves the talented and thoughtful people she works with at Habitat.
In closing, a short note about why of all places she should come to the Newberry Country area and settle here with us. Gloria would come to visit and share the outdoors over and over again. She traveled all over the west, but was drawn to this area more than any other. After she moved here, she discovered a picture from her past. In the photo was a landscape of mountains, a lake and beautiful trees. It was located right here in the area. The picture had called to her through time. It seems that it was always meant to be: Gloria Byrd was supposed to land in our midst and she is not wasting any time paying it forward!