Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Left Hand Laurel – Allan Trumpler

Series: Left Hand Laurel | Story 21

March 31, 2021

Courtesy photo

Allan Trumpler (right) posed on the front porch with homeowners Ken and Anna Christensen. HSHSVV made critical repairs to their Dacono home including roofing, siding, replacement windows, plumbing and electrical.

Living in pandemic times we realize more than ever that our homes are our refuge. But for 45 years, Habitat for Humanity has been focused on just that - offering permanent affordable shelter to families around the globe. Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley (HFHSVV) makes local low-income families' dreams come true by paving the path for them to own a safe, well-maintained home.

Located in Longmont, HFHSVV engages volunteers to work hands-on improving the living situations of well-deserving community members.

Gunbarrel resident Allen Trumpler has been a devoted volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for more than six years and because of his hard work and dedication he's earned the distinction of being this month's Left Hand Laurel recipient.

"Allan is a great example of the committed volunteers we are blessed with at Habitat," Director of Development at HFSSVV John Lovell said. "Allan and many other men and women form the core of our 'regulars' who are on site every week to help build the homes and guide the efforts of corporate and church teams who may be building with us for the first time."

"I love Habitat and think it's a wonderful organization. This is really something that is for the community and for the people," Trumpler said. "It just fit into my wish to help people and to give back for the luck that I've had in my life."

Trumpler grew up in Philadelphia, went to college in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and then moved to New York for a career in scenery painting for Broadway shows and in films. He's also been an art director, design assistant, and a draftsman. Trumpler and his wife Julie moved to Colorado in 2007 to be closer to their son, daughter in-law and grandchildren, and to Allan's sister.

After remodeling and settling into their new home, Trumpler put his creativity to work at the University of Colorado -Denver in the scene shop designing theatre shows until the end of 2014.

When he retired, volunteering with HFHSVV was a natural way to leverage his building skills and proficiency with tools – a talent he's been honing since he was six years old. A supporter of the most famous Habitat enthusiast, former president Jimmy Carter, Trumpler has had Habitat for Humanity on his radar for many years.

Trumpler's mastery is working with his hands building things tall and tiny, including the hobby of model railroads at a 1:160 scale. And there's also his gift of adeptly passing along his know-how to others. Homeowners who work side-by-side with Trumpler are fortunate recipients of his instruction.

HFHSVV Community Engagement Manager, Rebecca Shannon wrote, "Habitat builds and sells homes at cost to individuals in the 30-60% average median income range. Participants are selected on need, ability to repay an affordable mortgage, willingness to partner with Habitat, and ability to invest 250-500 hours of sweat equity to build their home and the homes of their future neighbors. Upon closing, the family begins paying a no profit mortgage set at the cost of the home. The mortgage payment is calculated to be 27% of the homeowner's income. These payments are reinvested to build more homes."

An added level of self-sufficiency the HFHSVV program provides to its participants is a course in home maintenance so they can care for their homes long term.

Trumpler gives his time to the community in other ways too. During 2020's primary and presidential elections, he stepped up to scan ballots. He also volunteers four or five days a week during theatre production season at North High School, mentoring students in designing and building scenery. He did the same with another high school in New York for 14 years before moving west.

COVID sadly, has put recent productions on hold, so now he's spending two to three days a week working for HFHSVV under COVID-safe protocols. HFHSVV volunteers select shifts online, allowing them to scan available time slots and set a schedule to their liking. Volunteers may bring their own tools or use HFHSVV's tools.

Lovell said, "He's become one of our most consistent volunteers even during the pandemic."

Habitat volunteers are a dedicated bunch, coming back year after year to pitch in building homes and forging wonderful friendships.

The organization is building newly constructed homes in Longmont and Estes Park and, in Dacono's Glens neighborhood; HFHSVV is performing critical repairs to the homes of senior citizens, veterans, and those with disabilities who are physically or financially unable to complete the work.

Over the past 30 years, HFHSVV has built 113 new homes in Colorado, repaired more than 50 homes, and funded 180 international homes.

Trumpler said at the end of each job he's thrilled for homeowners. "You get a great vicarious pleasure for the people who will be moving into these houses."

HSHSVV relies on volunteers and donors to achieve its mission of building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Volunteers are needed at Habitat Restore resale stores and on construction sites. To learn more and to sign up for upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.stvrainhabitat.org/volunteerism


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