Habitat for Humanity's First Volunteer
Oct 26, 2018 7:00 AM
Clive Rainey
Habitat for Humanity's First Volunteer

When Clive Rainey began culling his home and office libraries in preparation for retirement, colleagues soon began joking that he had an “arclive” worth of Habitat for Humanity history—materials that even other veteran employees had forgotten or never seen.

With every book or newsletter or pamphlet he passed along to co-workers or to the official archives of the organization, he would share an anecdote or a memory or a suggestion, helping even the newest employees understand what has made him an icon in the Habitat family. 

It is not his unmatched seniority or his status as Habitat’s very first volunteer that has endeared him to so many, but his passion for the work and his stories about the work. While many enthusiasms fade with time, Clive’s fervor for the mission of eliminating poverty housing has only grown. So, too, has his commitment to igniting that passion in others.

Often, he has spent vacations doing Habitat work. He spends many weekends quietly helping to build more Habitat homes. And he will spend his retirement continuing to do the same.

Whether serving as Habitat’s first Africa director, or speaking to audiences around the United States as he has done for the last several years, Rainey’s commitment to the work has remained as fresh as it was when he became the first person to join Habitat for Humanity International co-founders Millard and Linda Fuller in full-time work for the new organization.