Cashier Found a New Career After Volunteering at Newport News ReStore

AJ Jones joined the Habitat for Humanity Newport News ReStore staff five years ago as a volunteer and discovered an unexpected career. Today she is the longest serving cashier at the ReStore operated by Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg.

It’s an all-encompassing role “where I could literally be doing anything,” Jones says. “I can be on the register one minute and helping out on the floor the next.”

Jones moved around frequently as a kid while her father served in the Navy. Her family eventually settled in Yorktown in 1997 and the native Californian graduated from Woodside High School, the first school, she says, “I attended from start to finish.”

Earning a social science associate degree at what is now Virginia Peninsula Community College, she transferred to Christopher Newport University where she majored in history. She’s always enjoyed volunteering, calling it “a great way to get me out of the house.” Jones accompanied her sister to the Newport News ReStore and immediately found her place, initially stocking the aisles and assisting where needed. She transitioned to part-time cashier before accepting a full-time role.

Jones enjoys attending the home dedication ceremonies celebrating the families’ upcoming home purchase, noting, “We do good work.”

The Newport News ReStore, in addition to ReStores in Williamsburg and Yorktown, sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price, usually 30-90% off. All proceeds from Habitat ReStores support the mission of building homes, communities and hope in the local community.

It costs $125,000 to construct one Habitat house. The homes are sold to families who have qualified to purchase them through the Habitat first-time Homebuyer Program.

In addition to being an employee, Jones is a regular shopper at the ReStore, in love with the bamboo pillow she bought there that she absolutely cannot sleep without.

In her spare time, Jones enjoys reading historical fiction, writing poetry and playing Pokémon GO.


Want to invest in the community?


We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.