Three years ago, Joe received an invitation from a friend to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Little did he know that a single day of volunteering would turn into three years of joy and fulfillment.
Joe used to work as a Communications Electrician, testing and repairing phones across the province. When he retired, he wanted to stay active in a meaningful way and keep using his skills. Joe was searching for a volunteer opportunity where he could utilize his expertise, and it was during his first day at ReStore that he knew it was the place for him.
Joe puts his years of experience as an electrician to good use by fixing donated items at ReStore. His dislike for waste and desire to give items a second life drew him to ReStore. Each time Joe repairs an item, he keeps it from landfill while helping Habitat Edmonton bring affordable homeownership to families. Being an immigrant himself, Joe understands the challenges that many face when seeking affordable homeownership, so supporting Habitat’s homeownership program is even more meaningful to him.
The people at ReStore bring a smile to Joe and warm his heart. He enjoys engaging with other volunteers and staff, learning about their experiences. In return, he shares his valuable knowledge. He takes pleasure in teaching others how to fix items and expand their skill set. One Habitat homeowner was volunteering as part of her 500 volunteer hours, and Joe quickly became a mentor. Although she initially didn’t know much about electronics, over time, Joe taught her what she needed to know to bring electronics back to life. After completing her 500 volunteer hours, the homeowner continued volunteering at ReStore and, with the skills Joe taught her, is able to upkeep electronics both at the store and in her home.
When Joe leaves ReStore at the end of the day, he feels great, as if a weight has been lifted off his shoulders. He knows he is empowering families in his community, and that is exactly why he plugs-in at the ReStore each week.
Habitat is grateful to the generous volunteers and mentors like Joe, who make it possible to help families gain control over their future through affordable home ownership.