It started with a simple request for volunteers for the newly formed Habitat for Humanity of Washington County chapter. Cheryl Saylor of Hagerstown noticed the call for volunteers in the newspaper, attended an informational meeting and signed up.
“I was always involved in various school organizations and the kids were getting older. I was looking for something else to get involved with,” Saylor said.
For more than 16 years, Saylor, 58, has remained loyal to Habitat and the mission of building affordable housing for low-income families in need in Washington County.
“I always admired Habitat, with Jimmy Carter pushing it. I always admired the concept. It’s a win-win for the homeowners,” Saylor said.
She started with the nonprofit group when its office was in the basement of The Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown on South Prospect Street and before an executive director was hired.
Several years ago, the office was moved to Charles Street, in the same building as ReStore, a discount home improvement store that benefits Habitat.
Once a week, Saylor works in the office doing bookkeeping and other office work, such as writing thank you notes for in-kind gifts. For six years, she has served on the dinner-auction committee.
“It’s a great bunch of people who work and volunteer,” Saylor said.
She has also helped paint at a home-building site and helped hospitality committee members, who make and take food to the work site for the volunteers.
Over the years, Saylor also has volunteered with various military spouse organizations, the Newcomers club, the PTA at Paramount Elementary and with Town & Country Garden Club. She also enjoys tennis and traveling with her husband of 34 years.
“I would encourage people to support the dinner-auction and volunteer. It’s that sense of helping people out,” Saylor said.
She has gotten some of her friends involved with the planning, adding that planning for the fundraiser is probably her favorite part of the job.
“I do enjoy auction time. It’s very hectic. Soliciting donations — yes, it gets your adrenaline going,” Saylor said.
Saylor’s husband, Dr. Michael Saylor, even gets in on the fun. He makes his specialty beer for the auction, and this will be his third year serving as the auctioneer.
“You get so much out of it. You get a sense of fulfillment doing something and helping out,” Cheryl Saylor said.
The Saylors are from the Pittsburgh area and moved to Hagerstown in 1989 after Michael Saylor had finished his 10-year military commitment.
They started their family while living in Portsmouth, Va., and have two grown children. Their son lives in Oregon and their daughter is a Spanish major and is doing a master’s program in Spain.
Habitat’s 20th annual Dinner-Auction on Saturday, April 6, will be held at the ARCC at Hagerstown Community College. This year’s theme is “Revive the Roaring 20s.”
Tickets for the dinner-auction are on sale and Saylor’s committee is in need of donations of auction items.
More information can be obtained by calling Becca Burford at the habitat office at 301-791-9009.