Volunteerism is a great way to engage with the community and give back to those in need. Some even choose to make it an ongoing part of their weekly routine. Rick Dayton has been regularly volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity of Benton County for the past three years.
Often, Dayton helps the ReStore team in the receiving area, where he tests incoming donations to ensure they work, before selling the items to customers. His role is essential in Habitat’s effort to sell quality, gently used furnishings and building supplies to the community.
“I do a lot of testing,” Dayton said. “Other than that, I just help wherever I can. Unloading the truck or moving items around or trying to answer customer questions. I have repaired furniture items that come in and need minor repair that is easily done.”
In addition to Dayton’s work repairing furniture and salvaging items that would otherwise have been discarded, he builds wooden furniture, which he donates to the ReStore to sell.
“I have been doing wood working for 25 or 30 years,” Dayton said. “I just kind of thought it was interesting and started out slowly and kind of got into it more and more over the years. I seem to like to build the small furniture items rather than go into cabinet making or some larger thing. It gives me the opportunity to make the items that I enjoy making and it helps them out too.”
Mike Sevak, ReStore Manager, said they have enjoyed having Rick as a volunteer. He explained Dayton’s work in the testing and receiving area is valuable to the organization.
“Rick always had a smile when he would show up,” Sevak said. “Customers that buy Rick’s items would always say they loved the quality of the work and some would ask if he could make them certain types of furniture.”
Dayton said he used to build furniture pieces for himself, but quickly realized he no longer needed more items. He explained he would rather donate the pieces to Habitat, instead of trying to sell the furniture himself.
“It fills my time and of course when you’re doing something for someone else you generally get a good feeling out of it,” Dayton said. “That’s basically why I do it, is to just feel that I am doing something worthwhile and something that helps the community.”