Roadpost #2: Shopping Around


Joyce is a nuts and bolts kind of gal, literally. She volunteers at the Truckee Meadows Habitat for Humanity Discount Supply Store, and she sorts, among other things, nuts and bolts. She’s a real fun person to be around, but she also is very pragmatic. She has some great advice for those looking for the perfect place to volunteer—shop around.

Joyce has always been a person who helps out, but while she was working and raising a family she lived with an ultra-tight schedule. When she retired, she didn’t want a schedule, so she was very careful not to jump into any regular volunteer commitment for the first year. She shopped around, doing random opportunities like one-day events with her friends. Joyce says, “I held back from commitment because I was afraid if I didn’t take the time to have an unscheduled life, I wouldn’t know how to retire.” It makes perfect sense, and that’s Joyce. She’s down-to-earth and practical.

Joyce, though, had always wanted to be involved with Habitat. She had envisioned herself building houses to satisfy her frustrated inner-carpenter. She even had a tool belt full of nails, screwdrivers, a claw hammer, and a tape measure. She was ready to raise a house from scratch, but she found herself gravitating toward the Habitat store.

It’s hands-on work—sorting, pricing, assembling, and restocking donated household items, hardware, and used appliances. She learns about tools and is amazed at what people donate or what they buy: huge wooden columns, pea green sinks, pallets of vinyl siding with colors that don’t match. She always wonders if they will sell, but they do.

Joyce likes the change from what she did as a career, which was nonphysical, mental work. “There’s a big bunch of boxes when I get there, and then they’re not there after I’ve gone because I’ve taken care of everything. I’ve accomplished something… it’s tangible.”

Definitely, volunteering enhances retirement for Joyce because, “You need to give a little… you just can’t sit on a couch.” If you met Joyce you would know she could never sit on a couch for long. She loves to be active. She loves to laugh, and she’s got a lot of wisdom as well. So take her suggestion to shop around for the way to serve that suits you.

And while you’re shopping, make a Habitat stop. Joyce would love to see you in the store.

Visit: and view this video.

Share This