Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Watauga County ReStore Shopping Experience

To shop at Watauga Habitat for Humanity ReStore is to go on an adventure.

Not your ordinary thrift store, proceeds from our ReStore is put to use to help build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in your community and around the world.
There are many great reasons to shop at the Watauga ReStore. Here’s a very short list:
  • You never know what you’re going to find.
    Items are donated from people and companies in your community, the selection varies depending on what has been donated.
  • Every trip is different.
    Because of that ever-changing selection, you’ll see different inventory every time you shop. Sometimes you may find something unexpected, so come back often!
  • What you see is not always what you end up with.
    Many shop at the ReStore to find items they can upcycle and transform into something new. Check out how to turn skis into a tiki torcha wooden chair into a planter and glass jugs into lamps.

What kinds of things will you find at our Habitat ReStore?

We sell new and gently used building materials, furniture, appliances and much more. When items are donated to Habitat ReStore, they get a chance at a second life rather than being taken to a landfill.
However, the great stuff you find at great prices when you visit Habitat ReStore is only part of the reason shopping here is so great. In addition, you are supporting Habitat for Humanity.

Where does the money from your Habitat ReStore donation go?

Proceeds from the ReStore go to Watauga Habitat for Humanity’s mission to help build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. This work is done both in your community and around the world. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Why Do I Volunteer?

I struggle to explain why I volunteer for Habitat. Most of our “regular” construction volunteers have retired from successful careers. Such is not the case with me — and thus, I suppose, the frequent “why” question.
Why on Earth would someone step back from “working” to give away their time? My choice to do so has baffled loved ones who witnessed for years how hard I worked to earn my doctoral degree in psychology.
I have always felt very clear within myself that this is what I am supposed to be doing. As each attempt to explain myself fell short, I eventually resorted to responding, “It doesn’t so much feel like a choice as it does a calling.” I do believe that God has called me to this work, though I have no tangible proof of this, nothing in writing and certainly no formal job offer.
Habitat volunteer Donna Ricca shares how her faith and psychology profession inform her service.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” What I’ve done by volunteering with Habitat is to step in faith. I don’t know where it will lead, but I trust in the journey.
To outside observers, it appears that I am spending my time building houses, which is not what I have been educated to do. In my mind, however, I have not walked away from my psychology profession. Every time I listen to volunteers tell their stories or help instruct, encourage and support them as they struggle with a task, I am working as a psychologist. Each time I empower hesitant volunteers to face their fears, step out of their comfort zones and try something new, I am honoring my education and training. Every time I greet someone with a smile or a hug and let them know they matter, I am attempting to improve the human condition — a goal we, as psychologists, strive to achieve. It is through the activity of building houses that I am able to help build up people.
So why do I volunteer? I volunteer because I can, because God granted me the desire, strength, knowledge, resources and opportunity to do so. I volunteer for those whose circumstances don’t allow them to. I volunteer in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same. I volunteer because it fills a space in my life that money, possessions, titles and awards have never been able to do. I volunteer because each day on this Earth is a gift, and the least I can do is to give back in return.
Why Habitat? Because I know firsthand how important it is to have a place to call home. As a result of growing up in a neighborhood where I felt safe, I was free to roam with the careless abandon and idealistic sense of possibility that only a young child can possess. This freedom allowed me to learn, to dream, to hope and to visualize a positive future.
I plan to return to my career in psychology, perhaps teaching or working in schools. Volunteering for Habitat has helped me crystallize my life path. I am now more inspired than ever to ensure that working to improve the lives of others is always at the forefront of my occupational goals.
What’s in it for me? I love the physical exercise of hammering, sawing, climbing ladders, hoisting lumber and digging holes in the dirt. I enjoy the intellectual work of calculating measurements and figuring out how to bring the architect’s plans to life. I cherish the camaraderie that develops among people who labor toward common goals in challenging circumstances.
Most of all, what I gain from volunteering is a sense of purpose. Each time my car pulls up to the build site, I am filled with joy at the prospect of being able to make a difference — to matter to someone who matters to me.

— Donna Ricca, a clinical psychologist and Morris Habitat volunteer in New Jersey since 2011

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Q&A with Jimmy Carter

“Service to others is a crucial element in the American character”

Q: We often talk about the benefits of service to strengthening and improving the community at large. But with Habitat, we also often hear the individuals who serve share how their actions help them strengthen and improve their own lives. What do you as an individual like best about service, and why do you think it should be an important part of everyone’s life?
A: A Habitat project in a deprived community inspires other property owners in the area to improve other homes and the general environment in the larger neighborhood. Dwellers there get the Habitat spirit of volunteering and helping each other. The Habitat homeowner’s family members participate in work on their own homes and are then inspired to help others. Perhaps the most significant after-effect is on the Habitat volunteers who join us in building projects, who almost unanimously agree that the personal benefits to their lives always exceed their own financial contributions, time and effort — and that this incentive lasts for years in the future, or for a lifetime.
Your own service has taken many forms — your time in the Navy, your tenure in public office, your work with Habitat and The Carter Center, your regular presence as a Sunday school teacher. What do all of these kinds of service have in common for you?
Like other Habitat volunteers, I have learned that our greatest blessings come when we are able to improve the lives of others, and this is especially true when those others are desperately poor or in need.
So many people look to you as a model of public service and servant leadership. Tell us where this impulse to serve first originated. Who (or what) inspires you?
My earliest and most basic service inspirations have come from my Christian faith, encouraged by others who have been dedicated to serving others and learning to treat those who are served with mutual respect as equals.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter shares the importance of service to others
Historically, we as a nation have invested in the concept of service. Why do you think public recognition of and support for service is so vital?
America is the most diverse or heterogeneous nation, comprised primarily by immigrants who were not afraid of an unpredictable future in a strange land. Almost all of them had great need when they arrived here and were then inspired to be of help to others. This concept of service to others is still a crucial element in the American character and has always prevailed in overcoming challenges and correcting societal mistakes.
What would you say to the next generation to help encourage them to serve? How does service impact our collective future?
“Enjoy your American freedom, and utilize it to expand your own opportunities and God-given talents as much as possible. You will find that these investments in helping others will always pay rich dividends.”
— Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a Habitat volunteer since 1984

Summer Newsletter 2022

  Summer  Newsletter Hi friends! Thank you so much for your continued support of Watauga County  Habitat  for Humanity. It has been some tim...