Nancye Mims: Disaster Corps Volunteer

Nancye 1
Nancye (center) with Habitat for Humanity
staff members in Haiti.
Nancye 2
Nancye's Habitat for Humanity group with
future homeowners in Leogane, Haiti.

I was deeply touched by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and wanted to be a part of the rebuilding effort. I learned about a Habitat for Humanity program called Disaster Corps, which I joined in 2011. As a Disaster Corps volunteer, I traveled twice, in 2011 and 2012, to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where I provided fundraising and communications support to a small Habitat for Humanity group there. I have helped the organization successfully apply for grants and also to think about longer-term strategy for fundraising and communicating with local businesses and donors. I continue to offer assistance from afar, and today the affiliate is growing and thriving.

Meanwhile, I pursued language studies in Haitian Creole in Boston and have traveled twice to Leogane, Haiti, with Habitat's Carter Work Project. We built 100 homes the first year, and 150 again this year. In both cases, the people we served were deeply touched that strangers would invest so significantly on their behalf.

This past year, I became involved with Partners in Health in Boston, participating in a nationwide program of grassroots community organizing and fundraising for the work of PIH and the concept of Health as a Human Right. In this role, I served as a Regional Organizer for the New England area, recruiting and overseeing the work of smaller communities of organizers. My work with PIH has been centered around the organization's efforts to improve maternal and child health in a remote region of Malawi. Our national group raised around $50,000 that is going toward the work in Malawi. We also raised awareness, and l look forward to continuing this work next year.

This work has been tremendously gratifying and fun. I see the world differently and plan to be involved for a long time to come.

Nancye Mims
Associate Director, Class Programs & Emma Rogers Society
MIT Alumni Association