New Volunteer Coordinator at Williamsburg ReStore Inspired by Habitat Mission of Giving Back
Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg ReStores stock shelves, sort donations and operate a cash register. Some fix bikes; others repair fridges and stoves, and a few even refurbish furniture.
No matter what tasks volunteers perform at the ReStore — a home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories and building materials at a discounted price — they’re contributing to the larger mission that fuels the nonprofit. Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg partners with local families to build, rehabilitate and repair safe and affordable homes. Volunteering at the Williamsburg ReStore is a way to support the community.
That inspires Kelcey Moeller, Volunteer Coordinator at the Williamsburg ReStore.
In June 2021, the Williamsburg region native started her new role that she calls an ideal fit.
“It’s a powerful mission, really, and I don’t know that everyone knows to connect the ReStore to Habitat for Humanity,” she says. “One of my biggest goals right now is getting out in the community and making sure everyone understands who we are and what our mission is.”
Moeller is moved by what she describes as a passion and drive to help and care for others. That starts at home, where the mother of three learned everything she could about autism when her son, Kaiden, was diagnosed with it.
“I turned one of my rooms in the house into a huge sensory room,” Moeller says. “I researched it and put a hanging swing in the middle of the floor. There was a tent and a ball pit, too. I had a sensory table full of dry rice and hidden toys and stuff like that.”
When Kaiden began attending school, Moeller worked for New Kent County Public Schools, helping children with special needs and assisting teachers in the classroom. After nine years of doing that, she was forced to reevaluate in favor of remaining at home due to the pandemic. She knew her children needed navigating virtual learning.
“I tutored children the whole school year along with my kids,” she says.
Last spring, Moeller spotted the posting from the Williamsburg ReStore in search of a volunteer coordinator.
“I got really excited,” says Moeller, who had previously volunteered for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg “Blitzes,” which give facelifts to targeted communities. “I felt like it was meant to be.”
As Volunteer Coordinator, Moeller oversees more than 60 volunteers who give their time to the Williamsburg ReStore. Some come in for a few hours, others stay a full day or two and some put in as many as 40 hours per week at the store that occupies 40,000 square feet.
Their help is always needed as the ReStore stays busy with many drop-offs of donations every day and customers eager to shop for bargains and unusual finds.
“Our volunteers are number one. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do here,” Moeller said. “I make sure I am here for them.”
She shows her appreciation by regularly providing snacks and other baked goods for volunteers who enjoy a break room at the ReStore reserved for them. She remembers birthdays and special occasions in their lives.
Volunteers receive their own T-shirts and are eligible for special awards at the end of every year.
Many volunteers have worked at the ReStore for years; a few have been there since the store opened in April 2012.
Moeller’s to-do list also includes recruiting new volunteers and making sure they understand that the work they do is integral to the Habitat mission.
“We are part of Habitat for Humanity. All of our funds go toward building homes right here in our community,” Moeller says. “The ReStore is such an amazing place. It’s great to see the volunteers working so well together. We treat them like one big family because that’s what they are.”
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A VOLUNTEER? Learn more here.