Volunteers Feb. 17, 2023

Mother-Daughter duo gives back at the Comox Valley ReStore

Lisa Iverson and her 16-year-old daughter Charlie have a weekend routine they’ve been following since October 2021. Every Saturday morning, you can find them at the Comox Valley ReStore, the home improvement store that supports Habitat for Humanity’s affordable housing projects.

Like many parents of teenagers, Lisa was struggling to spend time with Charlie due to their busy schedules and lack of common hobbies.

Then, they found something that interested them both. Lisa had done a lot of volunteer work at the Board level and sought something more hands-on. Charlie was looking to gain work experience.

Lisa decided to reach out to the ReStore to see if it could fill both of their needs.

“It was really simple. I sent an email, and they got back to me right away. Within two weeks, we went through the onboarding process, and we’ve been volunteering on Saturdays ever since.”

According to Lisa, volunteering together at the Comox Valley ReStore ensures that “at least once a week we are in the same place at the same time. We might not always be side by side, but it’s just nice to be doing something together.”

“At least once a week we are in the same place at the same time. We might not always be side by side, but it’s just nice to be doing something together.”

The ReStore enables them to each pursue their own interests while spending time together. Charlie loves working as a cashier, while Lisa prefers putting out inventory and organizing the store.

What surprised Lisa most about volunteering at the ReStore was how fun it is.

“I warned Charlie, ‘This is real work. Be prepared!’” she laughed, adding, “but because of the people–both the employees and volunteers–it’s way more fun than we expected. We do a three to four-hour shift, and it goes by so fast. We both really love it.”

They also love that they can give back to the community while spending time together. “Housing and having a home is so important for every family. Our community and so many other communities have an issue with affordable housing. To be part of an organization that is helping with something so close to my heart just makes sense,” said Lisa.

Charlie Iverson | Photo by Erin Pharez

Both the Comox Valley and Campbell River ReStores are looking for additional volunteer support.

Lisa encourages those thinking about volunteering to come without preconceived notions: “Just come down and give it a try. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. There are all types of different things you can do with Habitat. From what Charlie does as a cashier, to what I do on the floor, to working in all different departments. There are even things like working on Habitat’s float in the annual parade. So if you think there’s just one thing or that it’s repetitive, it’s not. For anyone coming in not sure what they want to do, there’s so much you can do,” she said, adding that you can choose how much of your time you want to give.