As with most things, the old saying “there’s more to it than meets they eye” also rings true with our amazing Habitat volunteers. There is, of course, A LOT that meets the eye- whether at a home jobsite, our ReStore, or our administrative office, odds are you’ll greeted by a smiling volunteer, or groups of them! However, now that many of us have been working remotely, and our jobsites and ReStores are closed until further notice, we’d love to shine a light on the folks who are now volunteering remotely, as well as folks who have been volunteering remotely for quite a while.
ReStore volunteer Linda Urquhart has been volunteering with Asheville Habitat for almost 7 years. She began when she was living in Florida and spending some of the year in Asheville. Upon striking up a friendship with long-time ReStore volunteer Helen Andrews, Linda decided she wanted to volunteer “on Helen’s day” and has been volunteering on Mondays ever since! During these days of social distancing, Linda continues to apply her talents to serve Asheville Habitat. She’s currently working on the much-needed project of sewing new aprons for our ReStore volunteers. We can’t wait to see the result Linda, we know it will be great!
Ron Schmid is a Restore volunteer who works on our watches and cameras, testing and repairing them at his home in Asheville and his summer retreat in West Virginia. Ron even goes as far as to get them mailed to him when he is away, and then mails them back ready for sale! He also combs second-hand markets on his travels, to accumulate stock for us. Ron does all this on his own, supporting us with his financial and volunteer donations to this project.
Two other ReStore volunteers, Ann Justice and Lou Towson, have helped with our jewelry cases in a similar way. Ann began taking our jewelry home to sort and price, bringing it back to beautifully display in our jewelry case. Once Ann resigned from this service, her neighbor and long-time fellow ReStore volunteer Lou, took the reigns for this project, and continues to process at home and then display these very popular items in the same beautiful fashion!
Kaaren McNulty is part of our ReStore Art Wall team, faithfully working on this project two days every week. She purged her own personal frame collection, starting ReStore frame sales, and emailing out this opportunity for donations to her fellow artist friends. Kaaren forged a relationship with several local framing businesses, allowing the ReStore to affordably frame more of our donated art, thereby increasing sales.
Just recently, ReStore volunteer Stu Cotterill, used his woodworking studio at home to cut wood for the new ReStore Business Partner Recognition wall! (Stay tuned, the final product is going to be amazing thanks to Stu!!
In our administrative offices Lee Shampang served as a front desk volunteer for many years before moving to Florida last fall. We miss her sweet (and stylish) presence, but are happy to report that she continues to support Asheville Habitat Homeowner Services with voice mail retrieval, and supports Human Resources by researching and writing parts of our monthly staff newsletter. Before she moved, she even stepped in as a temporary staff member serving as Office Assistant before Deanna joined us in September. Lee is also a member of our Finance Committee, which is also meeting remotely these days.
Speaking of committees meeting virtually- the time, energy and commitment put in by our Administrative Support Core Volunteers is CRITICAL during this challenging time. We rely on the leadership and guidance of our Board and committees to help us continue to move forward and keep our Mission front and center in all decisions that affect our staff, the affiliate, and our community.
Even on the jobsite, there is remote service happening. Volunteer Jess Bernstein works year-round from home repairing tools for the jobsite. This amazing service saves us money and keeps usable tools out of the landfill. Plus, it’s a huge help for our Construction Manager Robin Clark.
And last, but not least, we want to recognize all those remote volunteer recruiters – you know who you are – who bring friends, family and neighbors into the fold through positive talk about their volunteer experience and the mission of Habitat. To you, we also say Thank You! Not only does it support the massive job of our Volunteer Coordinators, it brings in teammates with the same eager spirit to make Asheville Habitat even better.
To all of our volunteers, we continue to say thank you, and Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week! On site or remotely, you make our mission possible.