Janet knew she wanted a change from her corporate life one day when she read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Baby Boomers retiring early and going into the Peace Corps.
“That intrigued me, so that was what decided to do.”
So she took the plunge! Janet lived all over the globe. “I moved here from Timor-Leste, a small island between Indonesia and Australia,” she explains. “Before that I was in Moldova, and before that I was a volunteer in the Peace Corps – two years in Mexico and a third year in Ecuador.”
“Every sale helps build houses for people, and we do a lot here – you can see how valuable volunteers are, and it feels good to contribute.”
Now that she’s retired, Janet wanted to continue to find volunteer work that connected to her in a meaningful way. She found, in some ways, the Peace Corps and the HabiStore overlapped.
“The Peace Corps mission was something I could get behind,” Janet says, “and the mission here at Habitat is something I could get behind. So even if you have a ‘bad day,’ you know it’s for a good cause – it’s not for somebody at the top to get really rich.”
Luckily for Janet, she’s never had a bad day volunteering at the HabiStore!
“This is a great environment. I’ve volunteered a couple other places – but there wasn’t that feeling of we’re-in-this-together. This by far has the best work environment,” she says.
“The staff are great, the other volunteers are great, the customers are great. It’s a place where everything is a win.”
Janet also volunteered at the annual Women Build day to help a single mother build her safe home for her children.
For the past two years, HabiStore volunteer Janet has become one of the ‘Regulars.’ She loves busy days, practicing her Spanish with customers, and helping people ‘treasure-hunt’ for something special and unexpected.
“It’s really fun when someone comes in looking for something, and they’re so excited about it,” she says. “And donations – we’ve been really getting some amazing stuff.”
“The real danger though, is while working here,” she warns, “YOU uncover treasure!”