Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN) is about to begin two large construction projects that will ultimately see 32 local families secure a safe and affordable place to call home. While many people associate volunteering with the build site, currently Habitat’s most pressing need is in another area of operations: their two ReStores.
The non-profit organization is putting out an urgent call for ReStore volunteers. With the province lifting travel bans that have kept people in place for months, many of the current volunteers have taken the opportunity to visit friends and family, leaving gaps in the day-to-day operations of the ReStores.
“Many people don’t realize the important role the ReStores play in Habitat’s affordable housing program,” said Tom Beshr, Habitat VIN’s director of retail operations. T“he ReStore is the social enterprise that funds Habitat’s operations and helps to ensure that financial resources are available to support our construction projects. ReStore volunteers are just as vital to the building of homes as construction volunteers.”
Volunteering at the ReStore is also a good fit for those passionate about the environment. Much of what is sold is product that is new, gently used or customer returns that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Both ReStores have a metal recycling program where volunteers strip metal from non-working appliances, lights, and electronics that have been donated. In 2020, the stores diverted a combined 601,389 pounds of metal from the landfill.
It’s also a great opportunity for avid thrifters. Not only will you be the first to see the various treasures that come into the ReStore, after 40 hours of volunteering volunteers are eligible for a 25 per cent discount.
“There are a wide variety of roles to fill including sorting, cleaning, and creating displays of household items, as well as cashiers, and testers of electronics, tools and small appliances,” added Beshr.
Volunteer shifts are typically four hours long, available Monday through Saturday. No experience is necessary. An orientation and site safety training will be provided.
Interested in volunteering at the ReStore? In the Comox Valley, call Alla McQueen at (250) 334-3777 ext. 224 or email@example.com. In Campbell River, contact Alison Liebel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both businesses and members of the public interested in donating housewares, home and garden items, art and decor, furniture, appliances or building materials are welcome to drop off donations at the Campbell River ReStore (1725B Willow St) or the Comox Valley ReStore (1755 13th St, Courtenay) from 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Habitat for Humanity will also pick up some donations free of charge. Please call your local store in advance to arrange for pick ups. Learn more about Habitat VIN and the ReStores at habitatnorthisland.com/ReStore.