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GI Habitat for Humanity Director dedicates final home

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Longtime Grand Island Habitat for Humanity Director Dana Jelinek dedicated her final house on Saturday. This after announcing her resignation back in April.

“It’s just time for me to move on,” Jelinek said. “I helped build the organization with a lot of great team members and it’s just time for fresh perspectives and grow it even more.”

Jelinek has been the director for more than 20 years.

“I started in 2000 and they’ve been around for eight years but my first encounter with Habitat was when I first worked at First Presbyterian Church on staff and the beginnings of habitat were formin,” Jelinek said.

She fell in love with the faith-based organization because it helped better people’s lives.

“Habitat being kind of a self help organization is what draws me to it because it allows people to have skin in the game and improve their lives themselves,” Jelinek said.

She also understands what it’s like not growing up in a nice home.

“I grew up in housing that was nice so great and I know what it’s like to be embarrassed when someone comes over to your house,” Jelinek said.

Jelinek has dedicated countless hours giving families a home they could be proud of. She’s spearheaded the construction of nearly a hundred homes.

“She has really committed to Habitat and has done so much and first of all for all of those home-buyer families,” said GI Habitat for Humanity Board Member Michael Leggott.

One thing Jelinek said she’ll miss most is building connections with families.

“It’s that real interaction,” Jelinek said. “Not just teaching them something or getting a mortgage done but it’s that one-on-one connectedness.”

Jelinek’s last day is approaching soon. She doesn’t know what’s next for her but she’s excited for her next adventure.

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