Where are you from and how did you end up in Charlotte?
Nancy: We are from Kansas City, Missouri. We moved here in May 2011 to get to know our two granddaughters here, who are seven and three years old. The hard part was leaving our three granddaughters back in Missouri.
What did each of you do before coming to Charlotte?
Carroll: I worked for AT&T. I actually installed equipment in the offices. I'm like Al Gore: I built the Internet, but I did it hands-on. I retired in March 2011, and then I worked in the Kansas City ReStore as a volunteer. They actually gave me a staff shirt instead of a volunteer shirt for some reason. I sorted electrical stuff, tested ceiling fans, and priced items. They had these huge bins of electrical items that contractors donated - a lot of it was not sellable, but I sorted the ones that we could sell. I stocked shelves too.
How did you find out about the ReStore in Kansas City?
Carroll: We were doing a home project and heard we can get stuff at the ReStore for a cheaper price than a regular store. When we retired there was a ReStore near where we lived. I always wanted to do Habitat for Humanity ever since I heard about it a long time ago. I also watched home improvement shows, and there was some information about Habitat and Jimmy Carter too. Plus it seems like a good thing to do.
Tell me a little bit about what you do now.
Carroll: I work in the Metal Recycling Center: I rip apart old appliances to separate copper and higher priced scraps from lower priced scraps. I like to use my tool, so it's something that I really enjoy.
Nancy: I work in Julia's Café bookstore. I help with the sorting, cleaning, and shelving - I like to do the shelving. I like to organize the books - I'm big on organization. I think it's nice when the shelves are neat and the books are displayed, and things are in order.
How did you find out about the ReStore in Charlotte?
Carroll: Nancy looked online for the ReStore in Charlotte. We were looking for things to do. At first we were looking to go to the jobsite, but then I saw the ReStore. I like the whole concept of the ReStore and decided to volunteer there.
Carroll, what was your first impression?
Carroll: The ReStore is well done. One of the ways listed to volunteer was the Metal Recycling Center. That seemed more interesting to me. There, I can say hi and work until I'm finished. I work at my own pace and go for it.
Nancy, tell me a little bit about how you got involved in the ReStore.
Nancy: Well, I was reading the newsletter that was sent to Carroll online. I always peruse the volunteer opportunities, even though I already volunteer two other days a week at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. I still have lots of free time and I thought "why not?" And here I am! I'm here every Tuesday afternoon.
Nancy, what was your first impression of Julia's Café?
Nancy: I thought it was so quaint. I love the concept of the coffee shop and the bookstore. The back of the bookstore, in the workroom, is always busy. Nia does a great job. There's so much - last week there were thousands of books donated! My favorite part is organizing the shelves.
Carroll, what's your favorite part of working at the Metal Recycling Center?
Carroll: Just tearing stuff apart. I mean, if we were putting them together I would enjoy it, but I enjoy looking at how things go together and come apart and using tools. I probably spend more time than necessary because I like to disassemble rather than wreck the appliances, so that I can use my tools and understand how the appliances work. I've always done that kind of work. Getting to the end of a pile, if you ever do, is rewarding. It doesn't happen that often.
What would you say to people who are interested in volunteering at the ReStore?
Carroll: Go for it! If you like tools or have mechanical experience, or if you don't and you'd like to learn, do it. It's a great place for someone who wants to learn to do some mechanical stuff because you can't hurt anything. You learn a lot about washers, dryers, microwaves, and more. I like to look and see how many houses are built. I met one of the homeowners last week. We've had such a blessed life it's great to give back to this organization.
Nancy: This is a wonderful place, especially if you're a book lover. It is well worth it to know that so many books are saved and it's all going for a good cause.
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