Greg Senn has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity since 1997, he estimates. For his day job, he teaches sculpture, jewelry making and design with the Eastern New Mexico University Art Department.
Why do you work with Habitat? I believe people need to give back to the community, and this was a very rewarding way to give back. Growing up, there were adults giving their time… and at least in part, this is my way of saying thank you. And they’re good people. I thoroughly enjoy the people I work with.
Would you recommend that other people volunteer, and why? Apathy is so prevalent in our society today. It amazes me that people don’t get involved. I work under the assumption that most people have received something from others and would want to pay them back or pass that on to a new generation.
What do you think is the importance of people getting the houses? We work with people who don’t qualify for regular mortgages. It’s not possible for them to own a house without our organization.
Have you ever worked with other charitable organizations? My wife and I have done stuff for Relay for Life. We’ve worked with the public library on and off. I’ve done things with the schools; I’ve done demonstrations with the local art groups.
If you could choose any three fictional characters to come alive and meet you, who would they be? Lazarus Long (from science fiction author Robert Heinlein) because he was presented in story form as the longest-lived human being at 4,000-plus years. His perspective would be interesting to explore. And Mike Callahan and Jake Stonebender (from author Spider Robinson) come out of the same story. One’s an alien, and one’s a human, but both work to improve the lot of human kind on an individual basis.
If you chose anybody, living or dead, to have dinner with it would be: Mohandas Gandhi. That would be an interesting dinner. I suspect in looking at the apathy of people, we have similar views.
What’s your favorite place to have ever traveled? My favorite place is a lake called Lake Helen in the Sylvania National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s a wilderness preserve so it’s almost as pristine as it would have been 500 years ago.
What’s your favorite kind of sandwich? Brat patties. They’re hamburger-shaped brats instead of sausage links, from Nolchek’s Meat Market in Thorp, Wis. It’s the town where I grew up, and it is the flavor of childhood for me.
— Compiled by PNT Senior Writer Argen Duncan.