Volunteer Spotlight: Mara Grisham

Mara presently serves the Chairman of the Family Advocacy Committee. Mara has worked in the Administrative Offices, swung a hammer on the construction site, and she has served on the Board of Directors and on various additional committees. Mara began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in 1991, when Habitat was the regional service project for her church’s women’s group. Since Habitat was just getting started here in Cleveland, they decided to get involved and still include Habitat as a part of their budget. Mara’s first project as a volunteer was working on the construction of the second Habitat house ever built.

“Mara Grisham is a true Habitat Hero,” said NaCole Harris-Massengill, Habitat’s Family Services Manager. “When I think about Mara, I see a person who is enthusiastic, caring, determined and passionate about families and their opportunity to achieve their dream of homeownership.  Mara is a leader and by her example families stay the course of the homeownership program and leave a legacy for their family.”

When asked what keeps her coming back year after year to volunteer, Mara spoke of the families that go through the Homeownership Program. “It is amazing to watch the change as they go from renter to homeowner and a step into the American dream,” said Mara. “They walk with more pride and accomplishment, thanking God and Habitat with every step. Even the children who might not understand the whole process know that something important is happening! Knowing that I can help with that is why I come back.”

Mara is currently retired, but she worked in the Cleveland City School system as a Reading Interventionist for many years prior to retiring. Mara’s husband is retired from Merck (formerly Schering-Plough). Together, they love to travel and visit their two sons, Ben and Lee, any chance they get. Mara is also very involved with her church, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), on the local and regional level. On top of all of this, Mara bakes amazing Apricot Bar Cookies (just ask her committee!).