We couldn’t think of a better way to acknowledge Father’s Day than to feature a father on our very own staff and the impact Habitat has had on his children.
Mark Baides serves as our Project Manager and has been on staff with us for three years, although his relationship with us began more than 10 years ago. Mark, who used to work as an electrical engineer, first met our Habitat team when he was called in to help fix a breaker on a repair project in Vallejo.
“It only took a moment to realize that these were the most amazing people, It was so apparent,” said Baides. “The place and the people just gush with a strong sense of wanting to do good for people. I knew right away I wanted to be a part of it.”
Mark got involved in volunteering with Habitat more regularly, and it eventually became a family affair. Mark has two sons, Joshua (24) and Jacob (19), and as soon as they were old enough to volunteer with Habitat, they joined Mark on the build sites.
At first Mark’s boys were “voluntold” to come out and help, and they both ended up learning and growing from their volunteer experiences. Both Joshua and Jacob have helped on various critical repair projects and new home builds including in Fairfield, American Canyon, Vallejo, Napa, and Dixon.
Jacob even roped in his school classmates from Buckingham Charter in Vacaville to volunteer on a critical repair for their senior project, and worked hard doing manual labor including removing dirt with a wheelbarrow, digging for plumbing, fence work, and re-wiring a shed. Most recently, the boys volunteered with 28 members of Jacob’s “RoboKnights” robotics team and helped secure the trusses of a Veterans Residence in Dixon (photos below).
“Because of their volunteer experience with Habitat, my sons have learned acceptance and the power of giving back,” said Baides. “Recently my son told me how wonderful it feels to do something good for the community. He knows that with Habitat we do not discriminate, and we build for anybody – particularly people who would not otherwise have this opportunity.”
Both boys were able to develop their individual skills through volunteering with Habitat in ways that serve them today and will benefit them well into the future. Joshua is now a union plumber for NorthBay Plumbing, and Jacob works in the electrical department at Home Depot while he is attending college for biotechnology engineering.
“Their time building alongside the wonderful people at Habitat – especially mentors like Hiro Yamada, LC Naylor, Rick Johnson and Jamie Calderwood – has already shaped who they are,” said Baides. “My sons are the most caring, giving, and well-rounded young men. I love them 100% and I could not be prouder of them.”
Thank you Mark for sharing your wonderful sons with us, and for sharing your heart for this story. We wish you and all of our Habitat family dads a Happy Father’s Day!