Clients at Network Day Service Center in Rome — an organization that assists mentally and physically challenged local residents — are volunteering at the nonprofit’s ReStore, 10 Central Plaza.
Students from Pepperell Middle and Rome High schools also are offering their helping hands at the resale store, which raises money for the Habitat building program. Teens in Brandon Johnson’s community-based instruction class at Rome High have been volunteering their time at the store for almost two years.
“I have people at several locations in the community, so when I saw that they needed help we approached them,” Johnson said. “They were very helpful in wanting our kids to help out.”
Louise Branham, manager of the store, said the students come two or three times a week.
“They will wash windows, they sweep for us, they put some of our items out for us,” Branham said. “They just come out and do whatever we need for help. They’re usually here a couple of hours.”
Johnson said the students enjoy getting out into the community.
“They feel like they’re wanted and they can see their accomplishments in the store,” he said.
The Pepperell Middle students in Sara Bright’s community vocational training class generally come out in somewhat larger numbers, often seven to nine at a time.
“We have them do things like clean up the TV sets, and they put the records out for me,” Branham said, referring to, vinyl music albums.
“We’re changing the (price) sticker system that we use, so they pulled off the old stickers and put the new stickers on,” she added.
The Pepperell students and clients from Network Day Service Center just started working at the ReStore earlier this month. Branham said the Center’s clients help her put outbooks.
“I sort the books out to non-fiction, fiction, religious book, paperback books, and children’s books and I ask them to put them in certain (display) areas,” Branham said. “They work very hard at straightening them out and putting them where they need to go.”
Having volunteers enables the nonprofit Habitat to stretch its dollars even further, while at the same time providing opportunities for the young and old to restore self-esteem and feel like they are making a major contribution to the community.