Publisher’s Note: Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians. Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users.
By JENNIFER PEPPROCK | Photos Courtesy of Missoula Habit for Humanity
This month, I decided to check out a classic Missoula organization with a new twist! Habitat for Humanity has been serving Missoula for over 20 years, but last November they added a new service, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, to their organization.
It’s always really awkward when I meet up with people I’ve only contacted over e-mail. There’s always that moment where you both stare at each other silently and wonder if this is the person you have been corresponding with. In this case, it wasn’t. I went into the wrong door, but was pointed in the right direction. It was an awkward start to my volunteer experience.
After a second, but successful, awkward e-mail stare-down I finally got to talk to Frankie, the volunteer coordinator. She was incredibly polite, passionate and clear about what Habitat has to offer. I asked her what was original about the Habitat volunteer experience, and she told me that Habitat offers volunteers an exemplary opportunity to do hands-on volunteer work, establish a community, and see exactly what your work is doing and who it is helping. If you work with Habitat, you are bound to wind up with new friends and you’ll almost definitely come back to help the next year.
Habitat is working towards its 49th home in Missoula. Recruitment for building volunteers started just a couple weeks ago, and if you’d like to help out visit Habitat’s building volunteer need on Volunteer Missoula to get involved.
After our short discussion about Habitat, I asked to see the ReStore. Let me tell you, the place was packed full of random gems of vintage gold. I was immediately intrigued.
Based on how busy thrift stores in Missoula usually are, I know I am not the only person who would think this place is cool. Frankie and Terri, the store manager, enlisted my help in uncovering the mystery of an item that had recently been donated. They had no idea what it was, and thought perhaps my historical knowledge could help.
I was baffled. My best guess was that it was some kind of ornamental cabinet.
On the back, engraved, was a date. 1887. I’m a history major so I thought that was pretty cool. What was this thing? Where did it come from? How did someone end up with this in their house? It seriously looks like it belongs in a castle. I’ve attached some pictures of it in hopes that some internet crowd surfing will help solve this mystery.
After a significant amount of time coming up with theories about the ornamental cabinet, I wandered around the store to see what other kinds of cool stuff they have. Volunteering at this place definitely satisfies your inner hoarder. There is so much cool stuff.
Terri informed me that the volunteers in the re-store would sort through boxes of donations, help price items, and run the register. If you are a secret hoarder or love antiques roadshow like me, this is definitely the opportunity for you! Although they have a few dedicated volunteers, Habitat is really hoping to get more help in the ReStore to get things running smoothly. I think the only downside here is that you might end up buying all of the cool stuff that comes into the store…but is that really a bad thing?
So, if you are interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, respond to their needs on Volunteer Missoula and help sort through donations or build a house. You might just get a cool hard hat, or discover a new artifact.
Mission Statement: Habitat for Humanity of Missoula strives to eliminate poverty housing in our area through education on the issue of affordable housing and the construction of new-build affordable homes in collaboration with our partner families. Habitat also fosters community integration by bringing together volunteers from all walks of life to build our homes. Hundreds of volunteers work thousands of hours each year side by side with our partner families.
Contact Information: Frankie Feinstein, Volunteer Coordinator
P.O. Box 7181
Missoula, MT 59807
Office Phone: (406) 549-8210
ReStore Phone: (406) 549-8215
Hours: T-F 9am-5pm
3655 Highway 200 E
East Missoula, MT 59802
Volunteer Missoula is a complete, streamlined volunteer management service for volunteers, nonprofits and businesses in Missoula County. We are web-based nonprofit organization operating under the fiscal sponsorship of United Way of Missoula County. Volunteer Missoula was created and is currently operated by Missoula community members dedicated to promoting volunteerism as a solution to meeting community needs. Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians.
Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users. Our mission is to promote and expand volunteerism as a viable means to fill service gaps in Missoula by connecting volunteers, nonprofits, businesses and individuals in need of service through an interactive and comprehensive website. Volunteer Missoula’s website connects volunteers with Missoula-based nonprofit organizations. We make volunteering easy. For more information about our program or how to become an Organization of the Month, please visit VolunteerMissoula.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Step Up. Help Out.
Jennifer Pepprock is a junior at the University of Montana studying history and political science. She is from the small Bitterroot Valley town of Stevensville where she attended school and participated in debate and student government. During college, Jennifer volunteers for the American Legion, coached debate at her old high school and also works as a waitress at a local Mexican restaurant. In her spare time she likes to camp, fish and kayak in and around Montana. Because weather doesn’t always permit these things, she also enjoys archival research and reading. Her passions include education reform and children’s issues. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and become a lobbyist or family lawyer. She is very excited to continue working for Volunteer Missoula and appreciates the opportunity to help make volunteering in Missoula easier and more fulfilling!