Williamsburg ReStore’s New Volunteer Coordinator Eager to Connect with Community Groups
You never know what you’re going to find at the Habitat ReStore in Williamsburg.
Amid the 40,000 square feet of inventory, Amy Criss found two couches, a dining room table, a 60-gallon fish tank, bookshelves and a dresser along with a coffee maker and air fryer that helped her furnish her new home.
Inventory changes all the time but, these days, Criss is on the hunt for new volunteers who want to give back to their community by working for the area’s largest ReStore, operated by Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg. Criss, the Williamsburg ReStore’s new volunteer coordinator, is seeking individuals and especially, community groups, who will set aside some time to support Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities and hope. All ReStore proceeds go toward constructing Habitat homes that are sold to local families.
“Without our volunteers, the ReStore would not function as well as it does,” she said. “Our volunteers are so dedicated, and they love what they do. It’s a blessing to have them.”
No two days are the same at the ReStore. The Williamsburg location is among the most successful in the nation and abuzz with activity with donations coming in daily. New volunteers are paired with more experienced ones in an area that interests them.
“The new volunteers feed off the energy of the more experienced volunteers and make the entire experience extraordinary,” Criss said. “It’s a humbling environment. The end game is to build houses for families in need, and that motivates everyone.”
Criss especially needs volunteers willing to work in the small testing area to ensure everything from garden tools to vacuums to small appliances are in good working order before they are sold. Whether you have two hours or eight, all volunteers are appreciated.
While Criss didn’t grow up in Hampton Roads, she attended two years of high school in Hampton while her father was stationed at Langley Air Force Base. She built a career in retail and hospitality management and returned to the Peninsula in 2006 to reconnect with her high school sweetheart (they’re finally planning a wedding for later this year!). She pivoted to work for two years at Newport News Shipbuilding as a nuclear pipefitter, but a layoff led her to the ReStore, where she was initially hired as a cashier. She moved into the volunteer coordinator position in January 2023.
Criss is eager to talk with anyone looking to make a difference by volunteering and hopes to engage with more former military members looking to donate their time. Volunteers can choose which area they would like to work in. They also share a designated break room and enjoy other perks.