Volunteer Spotlight: Catherine Brinkman

Catherine with her late pup Lucy

Catherine first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity back in her college days, helping to install vinyl siding on a new home. More recently, Catherine has been an incredible asset in the office. Her first project with us exposed her to a different side of Habitat than most volunteers as she interviewed some of our long-time homeowners.
“I’ll never forget her!” Catherine said, regarding the first homeowner she interviewed. “She told me about growing up in her family home in Northeast Portland. She still remembered the address and phone number. She explained that as the hub for her family, that home gave her so much security, and such a sense of place and belonging. And then she explained that her Habitat house has now allowed her to give that same security and sense of place to her children and grandchildren. It’s the only home her grandson will know, and she was so incredibly happy when they moved in.”
The idea of security resonated with Catherine who was raised, along with her brother, by a single mother, largely in apartment rentals. “When I think about the positive and enduring impact that homeownership could have had on our family’s stability, on my mom’s retirement, and on the accrual of generational wealth, it inspires me to do my little part to help Habitat to provide that for others.”
Catherine has been much more than a “little” helpful. Perhaps it’s from her 17-year career in law, but Catherine’s reliable attention to detail and passion are an amazing asset to Habitat where she is always happy to help and regularly performs database updates, helps address envelopes, and makes thank you calls. We are incredibly grateful for the time she devotes to Habitat as she is also quite busy acting as a care-giver to her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Archie and Walter

Catherine is no stranger to the non-profit world and giving back in general. She’s served on numerous boards including the Portland Animal Welfare Team, The DoveLewis Ambassador Board, and has volunteered for the Women’s Foundation of Oregon. She and her husband also recently held a winter supply drive for Astoria’s homeless, donating over 40 hats, gloves, socks, long underwear and other cold weather essentials. When she finds time between Habitat, caregiving and her other generous ventures, she can be found, in her own words, “screwing up home remodel projects, watching bad disaster movies, obsessively attending U2 shows, tormenting my saint of a husband, and taking care of my two dogs, Walter and Archie.” We are incredibly grateful for Catherine’s dedication to Habitat!

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