Johanna Kaye

Volunteer & Community Outreach Manager

How long have you worked at Habitat Waukesha?
I have been with Habitat Waukesha since July 2020! 

What is your role at Habitat Waukesha?    
Volunteer & Community Outreach Manager 

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love knowing that what I do at work impacts something really important and concrete.  It's incredibly satisfying to see the physical product of your everyday work come to fruition, and I can't wait to be there for my first home dedication when we finish work on the house at 1104 White Rock Avenue this winter. 


How do you describe what you do for a living to family and friends?
I usually explain that I am the person who matches up people looking for volunteer opportunities with the right needs at Habitat Waukesha.  I also assist with some marketing tasks at our affiliate office and in the Waukesha ReStore. Mostly, I sum it up by saying "I'm here to help" - whatever that means day today. We are a small nonprofit, despite our nationally recognized name, and each one of us help with something that's "not in our job description" in some way.  But my primary function is to be the point of contact between the community and Habitat Waukesha to ensure that volunteer needs are being met.

Do you have a favorite quote?
One quote I like to remember is "The middle makes no sense", which is a quote from one of my favorite home decor and DIY bloggers/podcasters, Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love.  It means that the middle of a project is always going to look completely disorganized, and you might be tempted to give up and declare it a disaster.  You have to remember that this is the middle - it's not going to make sense right now.  Keep going, finish the project.  You'll be glad you did!

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
The 1892 World's Fair in Chicago would have been pretty cool to see. So much local industry and artistry were on display from the Midwest, in addition to advancements in technology and culture.  

What would people never guess you do in your role?
I have already gotten to do so many cool things in the few months I have been with Habitat Waukesha, including holding a skunk!  (No, the skunk did not smell bad, and yes, it was really cute.)  Many people might not guess that I get to do as many hands-on things as I get to.  I get to drive the awesome Habitat pickup truck, which feels pretty cool.  I also have gotten to work on a number of creative marketing, social media, DIY, and interior design-type projects, which you might not guess from my job title. Sometimes I even clean toilets!  I really enjoy the fact that - while I may have a plan for every day when I walk in the door - I never know exactly what I might end up doing each day, or who I might end up meeting.