Gene Theis has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and has dedicated hundreds of hours at the Restore. If you are a regular shopper you will see Gene many days a week. His energy is contagious as greets donors at the drop off center and talks with customers about items for sale at the store.
"I remember I had worked for Deere for 36 years, all inside, mainly sitting at a desk, and dealing with solving problems mentally. It was not a bad job, but well before I retired, I knew that in retirement I wanted something different. I wanted something more physical, more fresh air, less mental work, but still socially active. So shortly after I retired I saw this ad in an envelope that I got at home mentioning that the Restore was opening and they were looking for volunteers, especially those with experience in building materials, etc. I showed it to my daughter and she said immediately " Dad, that is you". So I signed up for the orientation and as soon as I met Jeff, I knew I would like him and working at the store. So that's how I started pretty much when the store opened.
"My favorite thing about working at the store is the social interaction. I love working with all the staff, the other volunteers, the customers, and people who donate. We know many of the customers by name and they know ours. I can't imagine working with a better group of people all around than at the Restore. We work hard but also have fun. I also like the fact that Jeff puts a lot of trust in me whether dealing with customers or working with products. I also really like working with the products that we deal with."
"I am committed for a couple of reasons. First it is for a good cause. Secondly, I have never minded hard work, and like the fact that the work we do keeps me physically active. Third, our mom was a dedicated volunteer and instilled in us kids that there is someone who is less fortunate than you are and if you can find a way to help them, you should do that. She picked up mail and groceries everyday and walked to deliver them to the people who could not get out on their own. I get a lot of satisfaction helping others so as long as I am able I will continue to volunteer."