Chatham@Work | Rachel Horowitz, Habitat for Humanity

Posted 7/26/19

Rachel Horowitz was born in Massachusetts, but moved to Raleigh when she was a child and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. Today, the volunteer program manager for Chatham Habitat for Humanity lives in …

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Chatham@Work | Rachel Horowitz, Habitat for Humanity

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Rachel Horowitz was born in Massachusetts, but moved to Raleigh when she was a child and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. Today, the volunteer program manager for Chatham Habitat for Humanity lives in North Chatham. At Habitat, she plans events, does community outreach and helps out with public relations. “No two days are the same,” she says. “I’ll be planning an event on the construction site, discovering hidden gems at the ReStore, or representing Chatham Habitat at a festival. I love being able to learn about all different areas of Chatham County, and get out and meet people there.” Horowitz has even had an opportunity to get involved in community theater in Pittsboro — she recently appeared in the play “Miss Firecracker Contest” at Pittsboro Center for the Arts.

What was your first paying job, and what did it teach you?

I was a summer camp counselor at the YMCA. It taught me that no form of recognition compares to a bunch of kids cheering for you at afternoon assembly. And that they’ll still call you by your camp nickname 10 years later.

What part of your job would most surprise people?

How much of my job is getting out and talking to people. I get to hear the wackiest stories from our volunteers. Hearing these stories helps me figure out where they’ll fit in among our programs.

What advice would you give someone considering doing the same line of work as you?

Get to know the community you’re serving. A tactic that works in a big city may not work in a college town or rural area. And connect with others in your role — chances are, someone has already figured out the answer to whatever you’re struggling with.

What’s your favorite one-day travel destination?

Raven Rock State Park near Asheboro, then the North Carolina Zoo

The credo or motto you try to live by:

You don’t have to be a dad to tell dad jokes

Craziest or most unusual thing that’s ever happened to you at your current job?

I accidentally gave one of my director’s plants to our landscaping volunteers, who planted it in a homeowner’s yard. I became very acquainted with the Lowe’s Garden Center that day.

Favorite weekend
getaway:

In Chatham County, it’s a tie between visiting The Plant in Pittsboro and hiking along the Haw River.

The book you’re currently reading:

A Philosophy of Ruin by Nicholas Mancusi

What radio station do you listen to most frequently?

NPR (and their Invisibilia podcast).

Favorite character from a Disney movie:

Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.

What’s the most amazing thing about you that most people wouldn’t have guessed?

I once spent an entire month backpacking through the Pisgah National Forest — with no showers.

What do you plan to do after retirement?

Volunteer at an outdoor education center

The best advice you ever got was:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff.”

What’s the wildest or most interesting single thing that’s ever happened to you?

Growing up, I was convinced I was on Sesame Street and told everyone. Turned out it was just a video of me at the Sesame Street theme park.

Is there a hobby you can’t live without?

Writing – short stories, poems, skits, etc.

How do you define
success?

When you can do what makes you happy, and do it well.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s okay to not have everything figured out yet.

Favorite dessert?

Tiramisu. You can totally bring some to our office.

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