Shelli was born and raised in Lakewood and earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington. She spent a year as a counselor before becoming a computer programmer and quilting teacher. Shelli and her husband Lee moved frequently while Lee served in the Air Force. They’ve lived in Washington DC, Hawaii, Germany and Australia among other places. The couple first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in San Antonio while Lee was stationed there.
Growing up, Shelli learned furniture building and home carpentry skills from her dad. “My mom taught me I could do anything, and my dad taught me how.” Everything else, Shelli says she learned as a Habitat volunteer, noting that she’s now gathered enough skills that she sided her own two-story home.
Shelli began volunteering regularly with Tacoma Habitat in 2019 at Tyler Court, and has since worked on both new construction and Aging in Place projects. While she spends most of her volunteer time at Habitat, Shelli began dedicating one day a month to Tacoma’s Emergency Food Network in 2021.
Shelli feels honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside legendary Tacoma Habitat regulars, Harry B, and Tom T., both of whom “retired” from volunteering in 2020. Shelli says her Habitat experience has been largely influenced by the relationships she has found and formed here. She says the people, both homeowners and her fellow regular volunteers, are why she keeps coming back. “I’ve met everyone I know here.”
If you would like to start volunteering with Tacoma Habitat, the first step is to attend a New Volunteer Orientation, and dates can be found on our event calendar.