Meet our Volunteers

Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis would simply not exist without its volunteers! They are instrumental on the build site, in the ReStore, on a committee, and in our office. We are grateful for every single one and thank them for their dedication to the elimination of substandard housing in the Saint Louis Area.

Click on "Nominate a Volunteer" and your nominee might be featured on this page in our Volunteer Spotlight!

Volunteer Spotlight

Cherie Westall, On-Site Administrator

Tell me about yourself.
I am a St. Louis native so I faithfully wear red and bleed Blue. I cringe when people ask me where I went to high school but find myself doing the same thing. (Lindbergh HS by the way.) I enjoy spreading the gospel of Ted Drewes, toasted ravioli, and gooey butter cake to out-of-town visitors. I miss the Admiral, the Parkmoor, and unlimited Busch beer at Grant's Farm during those long ago summers home from college. I say Missour-ee, not Missour-ah, prefer thin crust pizza, and like most native St. Louisians, complain about the weather. Professionally I spent over 25 years in our family-owned engineering business designing and implementing dewatering systems for water, wastewater, and industrial plants. Currently I am a freelance draftsman and designer for architecture and engineering clients.

How did you get involved with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL)?
In 2008, I was inspired by a speech by Barack Obama. He challenged us saying, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." After hearing those words I knew it was time for me to stop complaining about what was going on in the world and do something to improve the lives of others in my world, in my state and in my local community. That summer I started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

Describe your volunteer role and responsibilities with HFHSL.
I am an On-Site Administrator. Every Saturday morning two to four OSAs are at the job site to check in the volunteers. Our duties include welcoming the volunteers and thanking them for spending their Saturday volunteering with Habitat, checking waivers, going over general safety guidelines, and directing the volunteers to the homes they're working on that day.

How long have you been volunteering with HFHSL?
This summer will start my sixth year volunteering with Habitat.

Why do you volunteer with HFHSL?
I believe in Habitat's mission to provide people in St. Louis safe and affordable housing. All it takes is to attend one dedication ceremony and see the smiles on the faces of the families when they get the keys to their new home to be hooked!

What is your favorite memory either volunteering or of HFHSL in general?
The first dedication ceremony I attended was a couple of months after I began volunteering in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood. I wanted to see some of the home buyers that I had met on site receive their keys. It was a wonderful ceremony, extremely moving, and with lots of very happy people. At the time I remember feeling like I had made the right decision to volunteer with Habitat.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I like to read, travel, research genealogy, volunteer with local and national political campaigns, follow Kansas basketball and like virtually every other St. Louis native, watch St. Louis Cardinals baseball!

Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I would encourage other people to get involved with Habitat. There are so many different ways to volunteer from being an OSA or working at the ReStore to building homes or serving on a committee, all the way up to House leadership and the Board of Directors. It's a great organization and I am proud to a part of it.


Stacey Johnston, Women Build Volunteer

Tell me about yourself.
I grew up near Chicago, but since moving here after college several years ago, I've begun calling St. Louis my home because of all the wonderful things available to the community and visitors, and seeing an even brighter city with all the great new things that keep happening.

How did you get involved with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL)?
I was looking for opportunities to volunteer in an area related to my work. I had heard about Habitat for Humanity, so I signed up for a build day to see what it was like. It was great meeting and working alongside the homeowners, while also learning how to install hardwood flooring.

Describe your volunteer role and responsibilities with HFHSL.
I volunteer as the HFHSL Women Build newsletter coordinator. Each month, we send out an e-newsletter with information about the group and upcoming events. I also participate in the annual HFHSL Women Build Mother's Day build event, where we help raise funds and spend Mother's Day helping build the HFHSL homes. Last year, I helped install porch soffit; this year, I helped install sub-flooring.

How long have you been volunteering with HFHSL?
This is my second year volunteering to do the Women Build newsletter.

Why do you volunteer with HFHSL?
I volunteer with HFHSL because I believe in their cause. The work they do to help individuals and families in need, especially children, is so important. HFHSL is a great asset to the St. Louis community. They change people's lives for the better.

What is your favorite memory either volunteering or of HFHSL in general?
Meeting and working alongside the homeowners is my favorite part. I can't pick only one - they have all been wonderful people and experiences.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Spending time with friends and family.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Volunteer at least once with any organization that shares something you believe in or offer to help a neighbor. Encourage your family and friends to do so, too. Rather than watching TV after work one day or a weekend day, go out and help make the world a better place. Every little bit of kindness matters.


Art Volunteer

Art Stauder, In-House Architect

“Don’t print that,” Art Stauder jokes from within his brightly lit office at Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL). Pointing to a beautiful rendering on his office wall, one of many that decorates his room, he discusses his favorite building project. “I like Old North a lot,” he says. “It’s an old part of the city, and the style [of the house] reflects that.”

Art is the “in-house architect” at Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis. Assisted by a few consultants, Art is responsible for designing the houses HFHSL builds and drawing the required plans and blueprints to accompany them. Kimberly McKinney, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis and next-door office neighbors with Art, comments on this difficult process: “While his volunteer work has always been challenging (balancing the demands of homes which blend in with existing streetscape, are affordable to build, are green and are volunteer friendly) - his role became more challenging as our business model changed from working in a single neighborhood to multiple communities as well as rehabs.” As a 14 year-long volunteer, however, Art takes it all in stride.

Art was born and raised in St. Louis. To answer the famous question, he went to St. Louis University High (SLUH) and graduated from Washington University. He worked for Stauder Architecture, a family business and retired in 2000, the year he began volunteering “full-time” with HFHSL.

Asked why he has volunteered so much of his time and talent with HFHSL, Art points to a “moral or spiritual imperative.” He goes on to say: “When you look around the world and see a lot of misery and people suffering you feel like you got to do something.” Art even “gives back” to fellow Habitat colleagues. Paul Meier, Real Estate Development Manager, says, “… [Art is] always willing to go the extra mile for something I need.”

When Art is not volunteering with HFHSL, he enjoys plein air painting (painting landscapes “in the open air”) around St. Louis. Most recently he has been assisting his son and fellow architect with the construction of his new home in Kirkwood, MO, where Art also resides only a short four blocks away.

Despite volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for nearly a decade and a half, Art has never swung a hammer. While he was on site in 2004 during the JeffVanderLou Blitz, he managed to escape such a task and he seems perfectly okay with it. Looks like he will be sticking to drawing and designing instead. And HFHSL could not be more grateful.

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Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis · 3763 Forest Park Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63108 · 314-371-0400
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