Asheville Habitat Volunteers Win Statewide Award

Volunteer duo Tricia and Charlie Franck of Weaverville, NC, were recently recognized for their extensive commitment to volunteer service with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

At the August 15th Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Meeting, the Francks received the Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service. Annually since 2006 this honor is bestowed to the top 20-25 volunteers in the state, and is the highest level of recognition among the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards. Medallion recipients are nominated at the county level and a statewide panel reviews and evaluates all these nominations to determine the award recipients.

Tricia and Charlie have been volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, locally and internationally, for more than 15 years. Since moving to Buncombe County in 2010, the Francks have been involved with many different volunteer opportunities at Asheville Habitat. They call their service with the organization their “retirement passion”.


As educators developing and implementing the Student Build program was particularly rewarding for the duo and especially impactful on the organization and community at-large. The program the Francks developed and implemented brings together high school students, who are often rivals on the field, and unites them around the shared goal of safe, decent housing for all. Since its inception, Asheville Habitat’s Student Build program has grown and in 2022, six schools participated. Collectively the schools raise $55,000 to sponsor a Habitat home, and the students help build it. Some schools have also integrated affordable housing education into their curriculum. Five Student Build houses have been built in Buncombe County to-date, thanks to Charlie and Tricia’s leadership and dedication.

In addition, over the years, Charlie has been a core volunteer on the construction site, in the ReStore, and with Deconstruction. He has partnered with homeowners in Habitat neighborhoods to build Little Free Libraries (LFL) for residents, and he built the LFL at the Shiloh Community Garden, using recycled materials from the Asheville Habitat ReStore. Tricia has been instrumental to the Women Build (WB) program, which invites women to advocate for affordable housing, fundraise, and build in our community. Since 1994, Asheville’s WB program has built 18 homes and raised more than $850,000. Tricia has served on the Board of Directors and various committees including the Global Engagement Committee.

Having initially connected with Habitat for Humanity when working overseas as international educators, the couple has since led 15 service-learning build trips for students and adults to various countries around the world. The Francks are involved in our local community in other ways too, including regularly volunteering with Meals on Wheels.

“The Francks are practically an extension of our staff. They are engaged in so many different ways and have done so much to further the mission of Habitat for Humanity locally and globally. We are grateful for their dedication and absolutely thrilled that they have received this very well-deserved honor,” said Andy Barnett, Asheville Habitat’s Chief Executive Office.

Learn more about Asheville Area Habitat and how you can get involved at

Written by the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.