Volunteer Spotlight: Peter Salemme

This January, Peter Salemme set out in his RV with a big goal – to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in all 50 states in 2020. The team at Beaches Habitat was lucky enough to meet Peter and get to know him a little when he added us to his route.

A carpenter by trade, Peter has been active with Habitat for Humanity since 1992 when he and his wife helped build their own Habitat home in Virginia. In the years since, Peter hasn’t stopped serving, putting his carpentry skills to use at many Habitat affiliates, including the local Habitat near his family’s home in Arlington, VA. In addition to volunteering in the US and abroad, Peter spent a number of years helping with Hurricane Katrina recovery in Biloxi, MS before returning home to Arlington, and his wife and 5 children.

As his 60th birthday approached, Peter was inspired to do something big. In 2011, he set out with the goal of volunteering in 50 states in 50 weeks. That attempt was sidetracked when Peter felt that God pulled him off the road and into the doors of Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa for 6 years.

Now ready to finish what he started, Peter set out on his 50 state journey once again, making Florida his 3rd state and Beaches Habitat his 3rd Habitat organization in 2020. Peter spent a week building alongside our staff, volunteers, and a few future homeowners in Haywood Estates II, a neighborhood on A1A in eastern Jacksonville. In his 36 hours of volunteer time, he made a big impression on our team and on the neighborhood, helping to build two sets of stairs as well as framing walls on two additional homes. But, the biggest impact came from the connections he made through his kindness and compassion, sharing stories of his travels with eager listeners who were encouraged and inspired by his words.

Peter’s faith has guided him along his journey so far. He has used his hands and followed his heart to serve hundreds of people throughout the country and the world. He’s also tough to beat at bananagrams. As Peter sets off to state #4, we pray for strength and good health as he works to complete his calling, impacting many more lives along the way.

What bold calling has God given you?