Habitat for Humanity volunteer reaches 7,000-hour milestone

Mark Piepenburg celebrates 7,000 hours volunteering for Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity, December 7, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- It's a surprise celebration for a milestone of giving.

Mark Piepenburg passed 7,000 hours of service Friday morning.

For years, he's been volunteering for the Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity.

The announcement shows how Piepenburg is Making a Difference.

Behind a work bench at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Ashwaubenon, a red and black sign serves as a light-hearted reminder, why Mark Piepenburg is there.

"It was just a formality. That we kind of have a little fun in the back here. We just put up a help wanted sign, or whatever. We are looking for volunteers to help us out," said Mark Piepenburg, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer.

Piepenburg signed up to help the Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity 12 years ago.

"I retired, and had to find something to do. And my daughter at that time was the executive director and she got me mowing the lawn, had to take care of them, I went to the build sites," he said.

Three years later, the ReStore opened and Piepenburg has been there ever since. The time added up, and just about 11:30 Friday morning, Mark made the milestone.

"7,000 hours right now. Give it up. Let's give it up to you," said Cora Haltaufterheid, Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.

"It's been a fun 7,000 hours. I enjoyed it. I enjoy working with the volunteers. They're all great," said Piepenburg.

"We really appreciate his help and all the other volunteers here as well. We couldn't do what we do without volunteers, and I know people say that a lot, but we mean it," said Maureen Meinhardt, Habitat for Humanity ReStore Director.

"Congratulations," said Haltaufterheid.

The honor took Piepenburg a little by surprise.

"When is this going to be on the news?" he asked.

After some cake and some photos, the celebration was over, and Mark went back to doing what he enjoys.

"You meet all these customers that come in here, you get to know them one on one, that's fantastic," said Piepenburg.

Officials say this is the first time a Green Bay area Habitat volunteer has reached 7,000 hours.

To put it in perspective, that adds up to 3 and-a-half years, working 40 hours a week.

Piepenburg doesn't plan to slow down.

He says his next goal is 8,000 hours.

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