ReStore volunteers help increase profits for Habitat homes
Take a left when you enter the ReStore and you’re in the hardware department. It’s the first area customers see, so it needs to look good.
Volunteer Mary Malsam comes in Tuesdays to organize boxes of donated tools, door knobs, electrical wire, fasteners, plumbing supplies and dozens of other types of surplus building supplies.
“The hardware department is not just organized as a result of Mary’s work,” said Restore Manager Michael Urness. ”It looks better and that means more sales and more income for Habitat.”
Mary has supported Habitat in many ways. As Director of Human Resources at Mall of America, she was instrumental in securing a pledge of $50,000 from the Mall to build a Habitat house. Mary helped provide food during the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project in 2010 and organized volunteers in 2011 to clean up tornado damage in North Minneapolis. She has also worked on the Gala committee for three years and spent time on Habitat construction sites as a crew member and team leader.
“This work provides me with a feeling that I am giving back. I like volunteering at the ReStore because I set my own hours, I get responsibility and I meet nice people,” she explained. “It’s rewarding to see what’s donated then see it being purchased for use it people’s homes.”
Retired Hennepin County social worker Les Simon has worked at the ReStore every Friday for one year, creating displays that attract people to the lighting department and increase sales. Les is an active volunteer who also gives time to a senior food program and an organization that connects mentors and children.
“I used to do whatever needed to be done at the ReStore, but as partner families in the Homeownership Program came in to help, I went to lighting,” said Les. “There was a lot of merchandise customers couldn’t see. It was just piled there.”
Les now sorts fixtures, assembles new boxed fixtures, finds missing parts for others and eliminates the old and broken lights. He makes sure that the best fixtures are displayed in the showcase area in the front of the lighting department.
“The people at the ReStore have treated me very well,” said Les. “I’m also handy and Iove to browse the hardware area. I also like it that I have a place to donate things.”
Click here to volunteer with Mary or Les at the ReStore, or click below to see all Habitat's volutneer opportunities!
By Barb Machowski, ReStore Communications Intern, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity