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Kallshian named to Habitat for Humanity board

Jan Kallshian -
Jan Kallshian
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ARLINGTON Arlington resident Jan Kallshian has been reelected as vice president, finance and treasurer, of the Snohomish County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.
Kallshian has served with the Snohomish County Habitat for Humanity for three years and is marking his third term as an officer for the organization. According to him, his involvement in the organization just kind of crept up on him.
In the summer of 2004, Kallshian met a fellow parishioner at the United Methodist Church of Everett who was complaining of aches and pains and when Kallshian asked about it, the man informed him that hes been working on a Habitat for Humanity project just around the corner.
I knew they were an international organization, but I didnt understand that they built homes here in America, Kallshian said. I just assumed all their work was far away.
Kallshian soon found himself doing framing work on a three-story building on Hoyt Avenue, but it wasnt until later that he realized hed already met some of the board members of Habitat for Humanity in Snohomish County at that work site.
As we talked, they asked about my background in contracting and financial management, Kallshian said. It turned out I knew one of the other board members from years before, going to church together in Marysville. I had no idea what I was being dragged into. Within a month, I was the treasurer on the board of directors.
Kallshian still enjoyed working on Habitat for Humanitys construction sites, as he did again at the intersection of 19th and Lombard avenues in Everett, but he became a construction site supervisor for the Habitat for Humanity homes on Broadway in Everett and in Granite Falls.
I love outdoor work, Kallshian said. Construction is a hobby of mine, and I stay current in my ratings. I like working on Wednesday crews. I look forward to those days more than any other day of the week.
Kallshian also gains satisfaction from knowing that his work contributes to better living conditions for others.
These are families who are living in substandard housing, that theyre either paying too much for, or dont have enough space for their families in, Kallshian said. Were changing the way these people live. At the dedications, everyone cries, because for them, its better than winning the lottery. Its not fancy housing, but its affordable and finely built. We dont cut any corners, and we use the top techniques and materials.
Kallshian assured prospective volunteers that theres no extended commitment required to contribute.
You can work as much or as little as you want, Kallshian said. Were happy to have anyone for any amount of time. We hope that people will enjoy their experiences with us so much that theyll want to come back. Theres a lot of different opportunities, from working on houses to clerical duties in our offices, or even interviewing the families. Even on the construction sites, from swinging hammers to pouring concrete, theres a job for everybody.
For more information, you may log onto the Snohomish County Habitat for Humanitys Web site at habitatsnohomish.org, or e-mail Kallshian at jank@sos.net.

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