Retiree becomes Lakeshore Habitat’s first 4,000 hour volunteer

Jim Deur recently clocked his 4,000th volunteer hour building homes for Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity.

During those 4,000 hours, the dedicated volunteer helped build homes for more than 58 families in the Holland area. 
Jim Deur
He is the first volunteer to hit the benchmark. Deur began volunteering three full days a week with Lakeshore Habitat shortly after he retired 12 years ago. 

“Jim Deur is a humble and hardworking man, and we are so thankful he’s chosen Lakeshore Habitat to give his time and work to,” says Lakeshore Habitat Executive Director Don Wilkinson. “Our work depends on people like Jim who have a heart to serve others.” 

Construction is a new direction for Deur, who has a career in tech. He worked as a systems manager for Oliver Products in Grand Rapids, where he designed, programmed and managed computer systems hardware and software there for 28 years until retirement.

A few years prior to his retirement, his church community built almost the entirety of a Habitat home for a homeowner who attended their church, and he has been helping the nonprofit build ever since. 

“I love to build and I feel strongly about serving others in gratitude of God's gift of salvation to me through Jesus Christ, so building with Lakeshore Habitat is a natural and perfect way to serve,” Deur says. 

‘Go for it!’

His favorite part of volunteering is the opportunity to work alongside men and women who share the same values and volunteer for the same reasons he does. Deur says he also loves hearing stories of families thriving in the new homes he helped build. 

To those considering regularly volunteering with Habitat, Deur encourages them to “go for it!”

“If you don't have a lot of experience, you will not be made to feel bad, and you will learn a lot,” he says. “You will even get donuts sometimes at breaks and sometimes a T-shirt. Oh, also, most of us regular volunteers are 'old,' so you don't have to worry about keeping up. If you have some time and a desire to serve, come join us. We'd love to have you.”

Habitat is currently building a 42-home development in south Holland in partnership with Jubilee Ministries and is looking for more volunteers. Learn more by reaching out to the nonprofit’s volunteer coordinator at
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.