Volunteer Spotlight: Ray Andreassen

Ray Andreassen came armed with chainsaws, weed whackers, rakes and shovels, along with a team from FLUOR, to Day of Action. Ray and his team excavated a parking lot at the future site of The Potter House in Poughkeepsie, and the former site of the YMCA. It had become overrun by vegetation and the FLUOR volunteers restored it to a functional parking lot once again. He and his team took on this laborious project with the intention to finish; even when the rain began to fall they continued working outside, ensuring that clients of the Potter House would have a place to come for crucial services.

When Ray learned about the UWDOR Day of Caring program, he couldn’t wait to bring his team of highly skilled colleagues out to make a difference in the community. FLUOR is a century old company that focuses on engineering, construction and maintenance. In addition to providing services to IBM Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill, one of FLUOR’s most notable projects has been the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge in NYC. The FLUOR team uses their unique skill set to help out on community projects.

Service is in Ray’s blood. His parent’s motto was “If you are given a lot, you need to give a lot.” This philosophy is especially important when it comes to donations of time, which Ray believes to be extremely valuable. “It encourages that sense of community that is so important in today’s fast paced world.”

Ray comes from a family of 10 siblings, so “sharing” was an essential way of life in the Andreassen household. “We had to depend on each other growing up, and as an older sibling you had to help the younger siblings with their daily chores and routines.” Ray continues that spirit through his membership to a local Saugerties organization, The Blue-Kats Men’s Club, where he holds fundraisers and volunteers regularly. The club helps serve local food banks and veteran organizations, provides numerous scholarships to kids, and provides assistance to families in need, as well as victims of disaster. He has also volunteered in the South for Habitat for Humanity through their “Collegiate Challenge, Rebuilding Together,” and other community projects involving construction and organization.

Ray was elated that he had the opportunity to involve his team in the community work that he feels so passionate for. While this was their first FLUOR volunteer project, they plan to continue volunteering at local nonprofit construction projects when possible. “They are a great bunch of people, they are great workers, great family men and overall great human beings,” said Ray of his team.

To learn about volunteer projects that match your skill set go to volunteer.uwdor.org.

—Melissa Clark, Manager of Community Mobilization