Volunteer catches ‘Habitat bug’ during FOX59 build, becomes inspired to keep volunteering

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Each year, families across central Indiana receive the keys to a new home — homes built by the hands of volunteers at Habitat for Humanity.

In July, construction on  one of those homes began in the parking lot at FOX59.

It was there that volunteers first met Greg Burton, a carpenter that is hard to miss.

The build that day inspired Burton to continue volunteering. FOX59 caught up with him more than three months and three homes later.


As the sun came up on the west side of Indy, volunteers put the finishing touches on a family's new home.

Some volunteers cut trim, others painted or helped pour concrete.

Burton was among them, and he's hard to miss.

"I’m here to work, and have fun, and help out," says Burton, before heading into the kitchen to install a microwave.

He does not look like the other volunteers in this home. None of the others have facial piercings. At one time Burton had 50. It's also likely that he is the only one to be recognized in magazines for the full work of art tattooed on his back.

"I’m not sure what it says about me," he says. "I’ve gotten good and bad reactions. Mostly with people meeting me, within a few minutes they know I’m alright."

However, Burton does not stand out because of the ink on his skin, but the callouses on his hands — ones formed working in homes nearly every Saturday.

"I’m a carpenter, it’s just what I do. I love building houses."

Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity says he's become a well-known name and likely contracted a well known condition.

"We have a funny term internally called 'habititis,'" says associate director of communications, Abri Hochstetler. "Once you’ve caught that habitat bug, and you see the impact that a home can have on a homeowner in our community, a family that needs a safe and decent place to live, it really is inspiring."

Burton now hopes to join the 10-person team heading to El Salvador in February. It's a big step for a carpenter that says he's never even left Indiana.

"It just seemed like an awesome opportunity," he says. "I help out here, why not expand and help out elsewhere."

In order to go on the trip, Burton has to raise $2,000 by December 1.

If you would like to partner with Greg, you can donate here.