Week 19, Day 3: Helping ReStore The Community

My dream of becoming a human GPS ended suddenly and tragically today and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I made it to and from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore given the number of wrong turns that occurred.

Enough of that.

After apologizing for my tardiness, I met Amy Paul, Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteer coordinator. Amy actually started out as a Habitat volunteer before stepping on as the volunteer coordinator. Volunteering nets so many opportunities!

Amy gave me a few options on how to start my morning off, which included my guilty pleasure (data entry). I’m not sure if it’s the case over at Habitat, but when I worked as a volunteer coordinator, the “to-do” data entry pile was just a tower threatening to topple and any volunteer who offered to enter was high up on my list of Awesome People.

20140606_Habitat_Restore_04Diligently taking notes in preparation for some data entry!

Data entry ended soon enough, so off to the ReStore I went. Easily overwhelmed by stuff, I try to live a fairly minimalistic lifestyle (inspired, in part, by some of the volunteer experiences I’ve had) and steer clear of shopping malls. Occasionally, though, I find myself browsing the aisles of local thrift stores, with the Habitat ReStore ranking as one of my favorites. In fact, the best (and only) armchair I ever owned came from a Habitat ReStore in Wichita. Go figure.

ReStore proceeds help to cover overhead and staff salaries –two hugely important expenses. This is important because without offices and staff, nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity would struggle to help those in need. And while there are many grants out there to support projects, like building houses, it can be a tremendous challenge to find grants and funds to cover overhead and salary.  By shopping at the ReStore, you’re helping Habitat for Humanity ensure it can continue its focus of helping families in need.

When you walk into the ReStore, you’re immediately greeted by row after row of incredible furniture at incredible prices. Chairs of every color and material stand aside one another, while a nearby shelf threatens to burst with a multitude of plush pillows.  After admiring all the lovely furniture, I received my very own volunteer vest and my next set of instructions. The Habitat staff is organized and had a to-do list printed out and ready to go. Somijah, another volunteer, and I set to work organizing the linens, sheets, pillows, and overly-ruffled bed skirts.

20140606_Habitat_Restore_03Somijah, hard at work organizing the shelves.

 As someone who once spent two years sleeping in a sleeping bag to avoid buying a real bed, I simply cannot understand the purpose of a bedskirt. I hate to inform you, but after attempting to fold a million ruffled bedskirts today, I’m still baffled. In fact, I might be even more baffled.

20140606_Habitat_Restore_02Not a fan, ruffled bedskirt, not a fan.

My volunteering time came to a quick close and I found myself saying goodbye to Somijah and hanging up my volunteer vest. My only regret? Not finding an apartment closer to the ReStore!

20140606_Habitat_Restore_01Sad to hang up my volunteer vest.

 Thank you for reading! Like what you read? Kat Franchino is a freelance writer and an     avid blogger. She will happily take on any writing challenges. Contact her at katfranchino@yahoo.com or jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com.

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