Spotlight: Home Repair Volunteer Jan


Jan has been a Core volunteer with Habitat’s Home Repair team for 5 years, and she’s proud to be the only female core volunteer. Learn more about Jan, the kind of work she does, and what it means to her.

Spotlight: ReStore Volunteers Janis and John


Spotlight: ReStore Volunteers Janis Rose and John Harvin


Janis Rose, who has a dry, acerbic wit that belies her good-natured friendliness, has been volunteering at the ReStore long enough that the start of her time with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is a distant memory.

Janis kneels next to her dog, Teak.

Janis and her dog, Teak

“It’s been five… six years? Five years,” she recalls, “Actually, I was a full-time volunteer a long time ago, working on the trucks. That was eons ago, though.”

Since beginning her recent streak of volunteer service in 2019, Janis has become something of a fixture at the Asheville ReStore. In fact, she ranked #4 in top volunteer hours across the entire affiliate in 2023, dedicating 577 hours of her time to Habitat’s work. When congratulated on it, she gives a raised eyebrow and a cheeky, “yeehaw.”

Many of her hours in the ReStore, if not most, are spent handling holiday décor. Donations of seasonal decorations are a constant throughout the year, and with correspondingly seasonal demand, the accumulated goods can eventually grow out of control. When the flow of holiday items began to necessitate consistent oversight, Janis took on the challenge. On Mondays, while the store is closed to customers, she stocks the upper showroom’s holiday corner in preparation for upcoming celebrations. Sometimes she’s joined by her beloved beagle, Teak, who naps under the warm glow of the skylights while she works.

Janis's dog, Teak, adorned with a Christmas-themed reindeer antler headband.

Teak, adorned with reindeer antlers as the Christmas decorations go out

When there is no holiday to which she can tailor the shelves, she works with fellow volunteers to orchestrate the sorting and storing of goods in the basement. Though it may sound like a casual affair, the steady accumulation of holiday donations inevitably requires a labor-intensive mid-year purge of the surplus. If you have walked out of the Asheville ReStore with a $5 box of ornaments and decor during our annual “Christmas in July” sale, you can thank Janis for that.

Despite her consistency and dedication to the work, she says it’s not the Christmas decorations that keep her volunteering with the ReStore.

“The best part about volunteering at the ReStore is the people,” Janis shares, “The people, and doing incredibly good work for a great cause. Every day I’m grateful that I have a home, and I’m so grateful that we’re able to help provide that for others.”

When she’s not volunteering with the ReStore, Janis spends her time gardening and informally volunteering in her community, helping neighbors with personal projects and transportation.

“I do wear my Habitat hat and my shirt to show people that I’m proud that I work with an institution that provides good service,” she says, “and I feel like telling people, ‘go get it at [the ReStore] instead of paying, you know, $30 or $40 for something new.’”



John stands in the hardware processing area, surrounded by shelves of various bolts, screws, wrenches, and other hardware.

John stands in the hardware processing area

Though speaking to John Harvin may not give you the impression of someone who craves the spotlight (even if he’s been featured in our Volunteer Spotlight before), he continues to distinguish himself in his volunteer service. Last year, John logged a total of 727 volunteer hours, more than any other volunteer with Asheville Habitat in 2023. He would likely be the first to point out that it’s no competition (every bit of volunteer help counts, after all), but even he was surprised by his yearly total.

“I only put in two or three hours a day,” he explains.

A humble protest from a man who volunteers Monday through Friday.

John has been volunteering with the Asheville Habitat ReStores since 2015, working his way through box after box of donated hardware and tools alongside his fellow volunteers. By now, he has probably processed enough hardware to fill the average Home Depot, but he still finds the fun in it.

“[It’s] just so much fun,” John shares, “you never know what’s going to come in. I especially enjoy getting old tools, cleaning them up and looking up what people have used or sold them for—things like that. It’s almost like archeology, digging into the past.”

Despite this, it’s not the excitement of the treasure hunt that brings him back every weekday morning. Like Janis, John finds himself drawn to Habitat by the importance of the work and the community that has formed around it.

“Number one, what a great organization, the work they do,” he says, “Number two, you get a chance to work with a lot of really fun people… Not only with the volunteers, but the employees, too. Such a great group of people. It’s fun to come in in the morning and have everyone know your name.”

Read John’s original Volunteer Spotlight here.

Spotlight: Office Volunteer Rhoda

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While not as visible as swinging hammers on a jobsite or processing ReStore donations, Habitat’s office volunteers play an essential role in the organization. These dedicated folks handle behind-the-scenes work including volunteer data input, answering phones, printing materials, and more. Rhoda is an admin office core volunteer, helping in Homeowner Services.

Celebrating our volunteers!

Core volunteers (weekly or bi-weekly) are foundational to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Their commitment to service has helped bring thousands of adults and children home since 1983. What keeps them coming back, week after week and year after year? Overwhelmingly, it is a commitment to Habitat’s mission, the camaraderie of fellow volunteers, a sense of purpose, and fulfilling, feel-good work.

Choosing the Mountains Over the Beach

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March is a fun and exciting time at Asheville Area Habitat as we provide an alternative spring break opportunity – Collegiate Challenge. Every year student from around the country comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains and spend a week volunteering with us.

Here and Now

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Having an above-expectations experience, Jessie is quick to recommend AmeriCorps service as an excellent opportunity to explore career paths, learn and grow, or travel and live somewhere new.

Music builds homes

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On Friday December 8th at 3pm, our Glenn Bridge neighborhood in Arden will be bustling with more activity than usual. Following a short speaking program, Warren Haynes will join volunteers, supporters, and future homeowner Paul Mack to raise the first wall of his new home, the 2023 Christmas Jam House, made possible with proceeds from the annual benefit concert. Sierra Nevada is the Adopt-a-Lot sponsor.

To date, Warren Haynes Presents: Christmas Jam has raised more than $2.8 million for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, constructing 50+ Habitat homes and helping to pay infrastructure and development costs of entire Habitat neighborhoods. Fellow non-profit BeLoved Asheville is also a beneficiary.

Future homeowner and U.S. Veteran Paul Mack moved to Asheville in 2012 for a fresh start. He has been on a journey for housing and financial stability for over a decade. With the help and support of organizations throughout the community, he has diligently worked to improving his credit and pay down debt. Now through Asheville Habitat, he will purchase a 1 BR/ 1 BA one-level townhome. Paul’s dream of a warm home, his own porch, and yard to drive up to is coming true.

Volunteers from near and far will help build Paul’s home and serve in the Asheville ReStore as part of Asheville Habitat’s signature volunteer experience, Before the Jam, Lend a Hand. Local restaurants Gemelli, Luella’s BBQ, and Mellow Mushroom are feeding the helpers. Sierra Nevada and Devil’s Foot are providing non-alcohol beverages, and Merrell and Recover Brands are providing t-shirts and more.

Asheville Habitat’s Executive Director Andy Barnett noted, “Stable housing improves health, educational outcomes, financial stability, and strengthens social connections. By supporting affordable housing, The Christmas Jam helps folks like Paul thrive, instead of survive,” shared Andy Barnett, Chief Executive Officer of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. “For over 30 years, the W&S Foundation has raised funds, mobilized volunteers, and brought awareness to Habitat’s work in an unprecedented way. The Christmas Jam is one of the bedrock partnerships that we celebrate as part of 40 years of building homes, communities and hope.”

Interested in helping the cause that Warren Haynes and The Christmas Jam support?

  • There are a few volunteer slots available on Thursday, December 8th. Sign up here.
  • Stop by the Habitat tables at The Christmas Jam to say hello, learn about programs, donate $1 to sign a stud wall which will be used in the construction of a Habitat house, and enter a raffle to win a VIP package for the 2024 Christmas Jam!
  • Unable to attend the concert in person? Stream it on com.
  • Drink Christmas Jam Ale by Sierra Nevada and Devil’s Foot Unity sparking soda in support of the cause.
  • Make a secure online donation to Asheville Habitat. Select Xmas Jam House as the Purpose.
  • Check out for additional ways to support Asheville Habitat and BeLoved including Jam by Day events, vinyl/DV/CD album sales, and more.

Joint Celebration of Service

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In celebration of our respective 40 year anniversaries, and in a nod to the deep importance of volunteer support at each organization, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and MANNA FoodBank spent a day in each other’s shoes, so to speak. And dual-agency volunteers that support affordable housing AND food insecurity each week were recognized.