Henry Leal, "Hank"

A friend in need, is a friend indeed!

Sometimes reaching out to a friend for help can turn into a much more rewarding situation than expected.

Carpenter Henry Leal, better known as Hank, agreed to come out to Felix Neck in the fall of 2014 to help build a tree house for our nature play area. Hank was responding to a call from Property Manager, Phillip Hunsaker, to help meet a deadline for the structure to be built by Fall Festival.  

Together, working mostly late afternoons until the day became too dark to continue, our tree house was constructed with very little time to spare. It was this first experience that fostered Hank’s dedication to lending a helping hand when Felix Neck needed a carpentry project finished pronto.  

When asked why Hank chose to volunteer at Felix Neck, he responded that it was his friendships with staff. The reason that he has continued to volunteer at the Sanctuary is due to the rewarding nature of the work. "The knowledge that the work I am doing is benefiting a non-profit entity and helping the community on the island keeps me coming back when there is a need." He also loves seeing the campers enjoying and using the objects he helped create. In all, Hank, along with staff have built a tree house in the nature play area, constructed two picnic tables for camp use, and re-roofed our Waterfowl Observation Building.  

Hank has lived on Martha's Vineyard seasonally for ten years and has been a permanent resident for five. He is newly married to Kari Leal, a teacher at the Tisbury School. Hank is the local Project Manager at Associate Roofing. 

While volunteering at Felix Neck, Hank picked up a bird field guide book. With an eye to the sky while driving all over Martha's Vineyard, he often sends pictures of raptors to Felix Neck to be identified. Now he has a backyard birdfeeder and is hooked!

It is fantastic being able to spend time with a friend and help the community in such a rewarding and peaceful setting. Thank you Hank for your time given and commitment to Felix Neck.