April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week. ReStore thanks all our volunteers for their support and contribution to our mission of supporting affordable housing in Montgomery County. In this post, we feature volunteer Rich Burnes.
Retired project manager Rich Burnes says he started volunteering at ReStore 13 months ago because it gives him a chance to practice his hobby of working with his
hands while giving back to his community. Rich first became involved with Habitat for Humanity in Virginia when he joined co-workers on building projects during his career at British Telecomm (BT). He started at BT as a programmer and then managed a software development group there for 20 years before working for BAE Systems as a project manager.
Rich has been retired now for 18 months and says volunteering twice a week at ReStore gives him a chance to use the skills he developed in shop class beginning in elementary school. “I built furniture from scratch in shop class and always enjoyed woodworking and working with my hands,” said Rich. “One summer in junior high I helped a neighbor build a house, and I’ve enjoyed working on houses and furniture ever since.” Rich says when he comes in to ReStore the first thing he does is ask the floor manager if there is anything that needs repairing or any building work to be done.
Rich enjoys the interaction with customers that comes along with his volunteer position. He says one of the most interesting challenges about the work is trying to help people fit their purchases into small vehicles. Rich also enjoys the challenge of arranging the show room floor and making it look appealing.
“I really enjoy volunteering at ReStore, but I’m also looking forward to being able to work on the Maple Hill project later this year,” said Rich. Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County broke ground on the Maple Hill community of 19 townhomes in Gaithersburg last month. Rich says he feels fortunate with what he’s been able to accomplish and what life has given him and he believes strongly that we all have a right and responsibility to be involved in our community and to give back.
Thank you for your contribution Rich and all ReStore volunteers!