Week 5, Day 6: Samantha Hicks at The Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Day 6 was a different type of volunteer experience for me. My assigned duties for all of the previous days have been doing something directly with individuals. Today I was at the Habitat Restore working both alone and with another volunteer (Atina, a veteran member of Volunteer Odyssey) on a project that would hopefully help the store to raise more money for Habitat for Humanity.IMAG1429  If you don’t know what the Restore is, here is the run down. Community members and businesses donate unwanted items ranging from clothing to kitchen cabinets to be sold at the store. The money made at the store goes to fund the Memphis area Habitat for Humanity projects. It’s that simple! My job on day 6 was to pick out an object in the store and give it a makeover! The hope is that the store will make more money on the newly remade item than they would have in its previous state.  I chose to work on cute white bench. It was the perfect size for a morning project.  I am very happy with how it turned out considering I used materials found around the selves of the store.  What do you think? Pretty cute if I say so myself!IMG_0118IMAG1431

The day I spent my time at Restore, it was full of volunteers! Everyone was working very hard on jobs ranging from cleaning the furniture on the floor of the store to assembling items in the back. Joe, an employee, explained to me that they have lots of people and groups from the community come to help out.IMAG1427 They also require the homeowners who are receiving services from Habitat for Humanity to work a total of 300 sweat equity hours per adult. Many of these hours are clocked in at the restore. Joe made it clear to me that it would not be possible for the store to run so smoothly without the volunteers. They provide endless man hours that are NOT taken for granted! So, if you want to spend a few hours working with great people (and maybe do a little thrift shopping yourself), contact Restore. They welcome and are grateful for all of their volunteers!

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job opportunity where I can apply my social work skills and improve our community. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com

Want to know more about Samantha? Check out her bio:


Week 5, Day 5: Atina Rizk at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore

The ReStore will even come pick up your donation!

Donating to the ReStore is a cinch. They’ll even come pick up your donation in their big truck!

The aesthetic of a home has a huge impact on those who live there. No one wants to feel that their house is shabby; no one wants to feel bad inviting their friends to visit. This of course assumes that you have a house. What if you don’t?  Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to eliminate substandard homes and provide people with safe environments while simultaneously fighting urban blight for entire communities. But this blog is not about Habitat for Humanity. It’s about their ReStore (punny name, I know!).

The ReStore’s merchandise consists of donated furniture, building materials, appliances, nick knacks, and odds and ends. It is run by Habitat for Humanity and all profits benefit it. This is my kinda place, a shop where everything is for a good cause and everything has potential. There are pieces with beautiful structure but have seen better days. This is where I come in.

Before...a little rusty, a little bent outta shape.

Before…a little rusty, a little bent outta shape.

I volunteered to refurbish the items with more potential so that the ReStore can sell them more profitably. This is what I do in my every day life for fun, making it the ideal volunteer activity for me. After visiting earlier in the week to choose items to work on, I was brimming with excitement to get started. I picked out a washstand, a retro wire framed couch, a children’s chair, and an andirondack love seat to improve upon. It was decided that I should wait until I was actually working on the furniture to get supplies because something useful could be donated at any moment.



The ReStore is essentially a recycling center, so there is no way to know what might come in. The best illustration of what can be done here involves the wire couch. I had a plan to cover some of the pillows that were in the home section with fun prints from around the clothing section, but then I arrived at the ReStore and discovered that several bolts of upholstery fabric had been donated. Serendipity at its finest! I think all the pieces have turned out well, and now the items will hopefully sell for much more and help the Habitat for Humanity in their mission.

Interior design is functional art that can change people’s lives by changing their attitudes towards themselves. Being on a shoestring budget does not mean that you cannot come home to something beautiful and something all your own. It just takes time, a little imagination, and some elbow grease.


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