Statistically speaking, most people spend their days in jobs that don’t truly fulfill them. That was never more evident than in the height of the pandemic, when we all had time to stop and reassess our priorities and what we were really doing with our lives. Millions of people made drastic changes—to their careers, to their home life, to their location—all to find what they feel they’ve been missing. To find fulfilment and purpose. But as the Development Director of Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West, Leighanne Weeks hasn’t had to go in search of fulfillment. She already has it.
“I grew up in Mandeville, so I have a deep love for the Northshore,” says Weeks, who joined the organization in 2014 as the Marketing and Development Coordinator. “I have always wanted to work for a non-profit and to work for the benefit of others, not just have a job that benefits my life and my needs. I wanted to be a part of the community and build a career that was in service to the people around me who make this area so wonderful. I’d done volunteer work with Habitat in college, and that’s where I was first introduced to Habitat for Humanity.”
Naturally, her current role demands a great deal more than her work as a volunteer did. “My position as development director entails donor relations, community outreach, marketing, fundraising and events,” explains Weeks, who took the position more than four years ago. “The best part of my position is that I can be a part of this community. I try and give back to organizations and clubs that give to us, like Leadership St. Tammany, Rotary, Junior League of Greater Covington and Northshore Homebuilder Association. In the midst of that, I also get to meet so many new people.”
People. They’re the heartbeat of everything that Habitat does, and, in fact, the part of her work that Weeks loves the most. “These are individuals who strive every day to make our parish a wonderful place to live and to raise a family,” she says of the people she meets in the course of her work. “It’s also incredible to see the absolute joy on the faces of the children we impact. There is nothing like attending a home dedication ceremony or wall raising where a child shows you where their room will be and how they want to decorate it. You can see the excitement of how this home will change their life. We have so many stories about how moving into Habitat homes has had such a positive influence on the children’s grades, health and confidence. They are our future. To see them happy and thriving in their new home is the best.”