POLAND — “To give you an idea of how poor we were, when I was a kid I was given $1 to buy Christmas presents for the entire family. We were so poor that our diets were poor,” recalled E. Stanley Young of Poland.

The son of a country minister who earned less than $3,000 a year, Young today devotes his retirement years to building homes for others who are in need.

In January, Young received the first Volunteer of the Year Award from Androscoggin County Habitat for Humanity. He has volunteered for the nonprofit organization for 15 years, worked on 13 houses and participated in multiple fundraising projects.

Young’s history of charitable work extends beyond Habitat. Since his retirement from nearly 40 years of practicing medicine, he has also been a volunteer driver for SeniorsPlus and helped others pass the literacy section of their driver’s license testing.

Habitat for Humanity, however, may be his dearest endeavor.

“Like a need for food and clothing, the need for housing is a very basic longing for all of us,” he said.

To this end, Young has also donated numerous pieces of artwork and multiple tools to the organization. When he dies, he plans to donate his entire assortment, “consisting of just about every tool you can imagine.”

Having grown up poor, Young said he understands that people would like a home of their own. Even at age 76 and suffering from heart disease, Young shows up at each new building site excited to work.

“I’m at a point now where I can only work half days,” he said, “but it gets me somewhat tired, and I sleep well at night.”

“He’s a great, great man,” said Allen Sterling, Androscoggin County’s Habitat for Humanity president, of Young. “He’s generous, conscientious, does not seek notoriety, is very astute and highly regarded. He sets a high example for others to follow.” 

“He was willing to lead but not leave the rest of us behind,” added Carol Burbank, a fellow volunteer.

Young’s interests are broad and go well beyond housing. A photographer, he has donated approximately 130 of his photos to Central Maine Medical Center. He’s also authored five books
and approximately 50 short essays.

Speaking at his home, Young shows three packets of neatly paper-clipped writings,which include his obituary, his thoughts on volunteering,
anecdotes from his days as a physician and a timeline of his
life. The timeline includes 10 instances when Young hitchhiked Alaska’s Alcan Highway.

The timeline of Young’s life can now include his 14th house for Habitat. When interviewed in June, Young pledged to be at the building site on the first day of construction.

Stan Young, left, of Poland talks with Don Black of Windham while building a Habitat for Humanity home on Hampshire Street in Auburn on Friday. Young has volunteered with the nonprofit organization for 15 years and received the first Volunteer of the Year Award from Androscoggin County Habitat for Humanity.

Stan Young looks to see if the floor joists are level on a Habitat for Humanity home on Hampshire Street in Auburn on Friday.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers Stan Young, left, of Poland and Pat Sawyer of New Gloucester work on building a home on Hampshire Street in Auburn on Friday.

Stan Young, left, of Poland talks with Don Black of Windham while building a Habitat for Humanity home on Hampshire Street in Auburn on Friday.


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