Volunteer Spotlight: Anne Justice and Lou Towson
By Danny Mendl
To see the labor and love that volunteers put into the Asheville ReStore, look no further than the display cases of the upper showroom. These displays – divided into charming décor, tasteful jewelry, and the curiosities of the Silent Auction – are the work of community neighbors Anne Justice (R) and Lou Towson (L). Part-time volunteers and full-time friends, together Anne and Lou sort, curate, and price the enormous volume of jewelry that passes through the ReStore.
Anne, a retired Air Force veteran and core ReStore volunteer of seven years, brings a grocery tote of newly donated jewelry to her home each week, where she has devoted an entire room to the process. On Wednesdays, she and Lou spend hours sorting and socializing.
This is my grace point. I love work, and here, I love what I do. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this, really. It brings tears to my eyes, I just love what I do and I love the people here.
– Anne Justice, ReStore Volunteer
All of Anne’s time in the ReStore, meanwhile,
is spent single-handedly curating the Silent
Auction – a role she inherited from her friend
and auctioneering mentor, former volunteer
and auction founder, Alan Williams. Since
its inception in 2005, the Silent Auction has
raised over $1,000,000 for Asheville Habitat’s
Lou, who moved to Asheville in her retirement 25 years ago, is an interior designer by trade. She has lent her experience to the ReStore for 15 years, updating the displays twice a week, converting donated items and fabrics into purposeful displays, and occasionally holding back arrangements of items for the perfect moment or season. Working in concert, she and Anne help keep the upper showroom full of ever-changing attractions. We could not be more grateful for their efforts!