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From Reluctant Volunteer to ReStore Advocate

Posted by John Hagerman on 9:00 AM on October 17, 2014

When you walk into the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Brighton, MN, there’s a good chance you’ll be helped by someone who was a reluctant volunteer, at first. Dick Hopkins is a long-time professional truck driver who tore a rotator cuff and injured a muscle while at work. The injuries sidelined him, possibly permanently.

After a few weeks doing physical rehab, Dick’s worker’s comp insurance company sent him to work at the ReStore for the next phase of his recovery. To be honest, Dick wasn’t too sure about working at the ReStore. He knew about Twin Cities Habitat, but he had no idea there was any such place as the ReStore. When it came time for his first day, he was skeptical. When he was assigned the task of pricing items, he was even more skeptical.

Dick’s skepticism disappeared as soon as he started getting to know the staff and other volunteers at the ReStore. They coached him on the pricing, which he picked up quickly, but he didn’t need any coaching when it came to working with ReStore customers.

The rich, deep voice, warm welcome and quintessential grandfatherly looks, instantly brings a smile to his customers. His knowledge of the ReStore inventory turns them into fans as he guides them to what they need. His approach, like most of the staff and volunteers at the ReStore, is more like what you’d expect in an upscale department store, than from a reuse center.

Dick will find out soon whether the doctors will let him return to his trucking profession or force him to retire. Either way, he says he’s not giving up volunteering at the ReStore. “I may not have known the store existed,” he said, “but now that I do, I’m not going anyplace!”

We’re glad Dick plans on being with us a long time, and so are his customers. It’s always nice to find a good worker, and a friend!

            Learn More About the ReStore        

Tags: ReStore, Archive

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