Don Preston has been an affordable housing advocate for over twenty years. He joined Habitat for Humanity North Shore first as a Board member and construction volunteer, then as President in 2002, and finally Executive Director in 2016. He has been the heart and soul of the North Shore affiliate, as well as having his hands on every single project, build, and rehab we have ever tackled! In addition to being on the Habitat job sites for every single volunteer work day, he spends countless hours in the Restore, and equally as many hours connecting with key community and government officials, corporate sponsors, and of course – our families. His work ethic and commitment to affordable housing is unmatched.  

While there are numerous highlights we could share, one of the most significant was in 2011, when Don masterfully orchestrated a $1.5 million project in Peabody, saving three boarded up buildings and transforming them into 8 brand new units of affordable housing. That job – like so many others – was successful because of his ability to work with local officials, zoning boards, mayors and city politicians – skills that he’s acquired after years of work and volunteering in the affordable housing arena. Beyond construction expertise and community relationships, Don is a wonderful ambassador for our volunteers. He maximizes all of the possibilities that the build sites offer by creating opportunities for college groups, retired folks with skills & time, and high school groups in the trades. These groups are quick to return because of the atmosphere created by Don at the build site: fun, safety, laughter and the opportunity to learn a new skill.

His genuine passion for serving those that are less fortunate is unmatched. You can see that at the house dedications where the families are brought to tears by the dream Don has helped them realize. He gets to know each of the partner families, personally, and plants the seeds for them to take this opportunity and grow within the communities where they now reside. It is not hyperbole to say that there would not have been a Habitat North Shore without him. 

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Don, recognizing his decades building homes for local families in need, please go here >>