Merchandising Assistant Core Volunteers

Alice, Tina and Robyn find joy in surveying the variety of donated goods at the Denver Habitat for Humanity ReStores and arranging the couches, tables, lamps and other décor into showroom groupings that customers love. 

“I like to put things together so they look beautiful,” shares Alice, who retired as a Habitat volunteer manager last year and became a Merchandising Assistant – an ongoing, Core Volunteer position. “It is fun to put a vignette together and watch a customer walk out the door with all the pieces.” 

Merchandising Assistants play a vital role in our Denver-area ReStores. These Core Volunteers come in to the ReStores weekly to survey donated items and arrange them into vignettes that appeal to customers. They bring unique skillsets – including the ability to visualize spaces, pair colors, and create eye-catching interior designs. 

The result? ReStore customers see products in a new and appealing light, leading to more sales and more profits generated for Habitat’s home programs.  

Alice and her husband had been buying used furniture for years to up-cycle and re-sell, so she has a practiced eye for good quality items in every design – from antique to mid-century modern to contemporary.   

The ReStore’s customers are diverse and include contractors, college students, young people with their first homes, bargain hunters, and people looking for home goods to refurbish. Merchandising Assistants help each customer find products that meet their needs – and even add some color or delight to their home.  

When Core Volunteer Tina and her husband retired to Colorado from Wisconsin, she wanted to continue using her professional experience, which included staging homes and interior design. She loved Habitat’s work as well, and the combination lead her to become a Merchandising Assistant volunteer two years ago. 

“It’s really fun, especially on Saturdays when it’s busy,” Tina shares. “I love looking at the new pieces that have come in, and putting them together so they look interesting to the buyer.”  

Tina recently worked with a young man who had moved into a new apartment and needed a couch.  

“I wanted it to be cohesive on a budget,” shares Tina. “So I helped him add a rug and a lamp, an oak dining table, and four chairs.” 

Robyn has a degree in interior design, but now works from home in marketing and communications. She first volunteered as a Merchandising Assistant about a year ago, and enjoyed the combination of creativity and community service. She enjoys putting the donated furniture together so customers can imagine it in their home, ultimately helping Habitat raise money from the sales. She also loves the camaraderie of working with other merchandising assistant volunteers. 

“It makes me feel good to fill a need for people moving into their first home orgetting new furniture because they are going through a divorce,” shares Robyn “The ReStores raise money to provide housing for those in need. Volunteering has been such a positive thing in my life.”