Volunteers help at a Habitat for Humanity home

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Volunteer as a Group for Habitat ReStore

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and so are volunteer groups that dedicate their time to duties that range from sorting donations to customer service to furniture restoration.

The Newport News ReStore, for example, benefits from volunteer groups from nearby Christopher Newport University (CNU), service sororities, military groups and employees from local companies.

“Having a group means that we can set aside several projects over a three-hour period that maybe our staff hasn’t gotten to or that require more hands,” said Volunteer Coordinator Mary Luke of the ReStore. “We recently had a few groups that were our driving force to sort through large amounts of donations and brand new shipments we got in specifically for an annual sale. I also personally really enjoy meeting all the new people and teaching them about our mission and how the ReStore works within Habitat.”

Proceeds from the ReStore support all of Habitat for Humanity’s programs.

CNU has its own Habitat chapter on campus, and Taiylor Russell, a regular volunteer, said the signup sheet fills quickly with students always looking for more spots.

The senior communications major said she enjoys meeting new people at the ReStore, and she especially appreciates talking to the volunteers who are logging hours toward their “sweat equity.” Habitat homebuyers are required to volunteer for 300 hours. While a number of hours must be completed at Habitat home builds, many hours are logged at the ReStore.

“I love to hear their stories and you can see how grateful they are and how kind everyone is,” Russell said. “That’s what drives me to continue doing this kind of work.”

Tomas Mickle, in the Navy aboard the USS George Washington, searched on Google when looking for the best places to volunteer on the Peninsula.

“Habitat for Humanity popped up,” he said. “I learned more about their background and the ReStore and thought it would be something good to do.”

Mickle and a group of Navy buddies volunteer a few times a month at the ReStore for shifts that range from three to five hours. Often they’ll work together refurbishing recently donated furniture, hanging rugs or setting up displays.

“We have a good time laughing and joking together while we work,” he said.

The volunteer hours also go toward the Navy’s service program that celebrates stewardship in the community.

Jessica Frommgen, who organized employees from Ferguson to volunteer at the ReStore, considers it a team-building experience. Their tasks range from book and library organization to general cleaning to organizing paint by color and setting up displays.

“Our team is all computer all the time,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to do something with your hands.”

Groups are encouraged to reach out to the Newport News and Williamsburg ReStores to schedule a time to volunteer. The ReStore is especially in need of volunteers on weekdays. Go here to connect with our team to get started.

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We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.