LAFAYETTE, INDIANA (WLFI) - After serving in the U.S. Army and returning to his job at Purdue, Hank Jonker decided he could do more. That's when he took his time and talents to a group just getting started in the Lafayette area. Jonker started volunteering at Habitat for Humanity 25 years ago. He's helped to build a countless number of houses. And at 78 years old, is a big part in giving people a hand up.
"Usually, like I say, people, they give good stuff," said Hank Jonker.
Hank Jonker knows just about everything that comes through the doors at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in Lafayette. Jonker checks the stoves and ovens, the washers, dryers and furniture that is donated to the store, to make sure it's all working just fine.
He and a few others, have a small workshop to make the repairs before items are sold. And if he needs more time, he takes his work home.
"What I do is check it out and make sure it's working," said Jonker.
Before Jonker started volunteering at Habitat's ReStore, he helped to build houses. Jonker's had a hand in the plumbing and painting of so many Habitat homes, he can't remember how many houses he's helped to build.
Habitat has been building homes for the last 27 years in the Greater Lafayette area, and Jonker's been volunteering almost as long.
"I feel like somebody lives there and has a better life. And you know, it helps them and I get a satisfaction out of helping people like that. I don't get paid, but I sure get paid by satisfaction of the work," said Jonker.
The important parts of each house that Jonker gets ready for sale at the ReStore, all come back to Habitat in a different way. The profits go into building more Habitat homes, for more people.
"I found a niche right here," said Jonker.
Jonker immigrated to Lafayette from Holland in 1950. He spent 46 years in Physical Facilities at Purdue. He and his wife Wilma have three children.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is open to the pubic Tuesday through Saturday. The ReStore is located at 3815 Fortune Drive in Lafayette.
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