Creating Social Value Blog / Service in Action

Alternative Winter Break Trip

Today was my first day working for Habitat for Humanity and I had an absolute blast. I had expected that the whole time our group was going to be working on Habitat for Humanity homes, but today we worked in a place called the ReStore. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what the ReStore is, it is essentially a thrift store of home goods and all of the proceeds go toward Habitat for Humanity. The store is completely made up of donated items, and our jobs varied from sorting these items, pricing them, collecting the donations, and throwing away what cannot be salvaged. I was put in a group with Mintis, Stephanie and I, and our challenge was first breaking down all the donated items that could not be sold because of missing drawers, rot, etc. It is amazing how therapeutic smashing things can be (even with minimal muscles like myself). After filling up the dumpster and breaking all sorts of interesting objects we moved onto heavy lifting. As I attempted to move heavy countertops to the sales floor I watch some of the other volunteers from our group pricing obscure objects. Then I got to move on to sorting and pricing molding to go to the sales floor and following that I worked at picking up donations from the citizens in Vero Beach. The work we did today was not what I had expected because I came in thinking that I was going to be building a house but we were organizing a ReStore. Organizing the store made me learn many stories of how important this store is for everyone. It was amazing seeing how many donors would come into the store and leave so many items such as plasma TVs, plates, lights, and many other necessary items for a house. It makes me feel great that these items aren’t just thrown in the garbage and other people can find a use for the items, it’s also very cheap for to purchase these items. This store is a great system and it’s all worth it for the customer. All the volunteers were so nice and I felt as if I was in a loving environment. It was great being around so many volunteers being there to help others. I am excited for the rest of this week; the plan is to paint houses and work on construction.

Lisa Cole ’18