Building on the rewarding experience of sponsoring the Habitat for Humanity house in Sharpsburg two years ago, the Social Justice and Outreach Committee is again partnering with Habitat for Humanity to provide ongoing volunteer opportunities for members of our Diocese. In conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh the SJO Committee is promoting two specific activities: working in Habitat’s ReStore facility or participating in their Brush With Kindness program. If you prefer, we encourage parish members in other counties to partner with the Habitat office that serves your county about their volunteer opportunities.

ReStore sells reusable furniture, appliances and home building/improvement materials to the public. The Pittsburgh Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located just off the Parkway East in Edgewood Towne Centre and is open Wednesday thru Saturday. Our goal is to recruit enough diocesan volunteers to staff the ReStore at least one day per month. They need six volunteers from 9 am until 4 pm to assist the two full-time personnel with preparing donated items for sale, stocking shelves, or acting as salespeople and cashiers. Either full or half-shift openings are available for volunteers over 14.  We’re suggesting the Diocese take one Thursday per month. Please let us know your interest, including which Thursdays are best for you (or whether you prefer another day of the week) by contacting Jerry Stephenson at jjmestephenson@verizon.net.

Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness program involves doing mostly minor exterior home repairs for current homeowners who can’t do them themselves to allow those homeowners to stay in their homes. Common activities are painting, landscaping and handicap ramp repair. The age requirement for participating is 14, making this program especially well suited for both teens and adults. We are looking at setting up work sessions with anywhere from 4 to 12 volunteers on either weekdays or Saturdays starting around the week of July 9. Prospective work sites are homes typically close to the city limits. Again please let us know (by contacting Jerry Stephenson at jjmestephenson@verizon.net) which days you, or a group from your parish, would be available to do A Brush With Kindness project.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity, see www.pittsburghhabitat.org .