Kelly is one of our ReStore managers, which means she does a little bit of everything at the ReStore—from working on the donations dock and the sales floor to running cash registers from time to time, she truly is (in her words) a Jane of all trades.
Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity was lucky enough to cross paths with Kelly back in 2009, when she donated a large haul of items to the ReStore. She was invited to sit in on a board meeting for Habitat, and then decided to join the board. After serving on the Board of Directors (and even serving as president of the board), Kelly started volunteering at the ReStore. She was eventually hired on as a full-time staff member.
For Kelly, volunteering and working with Habitat and the ReStore is deeply motivated by her desire to care for her community.
“I’m all about the mission. I truly believe that everybody should have the chance for safe and affordable housing, and the ReStore funds that. The cool part about the ReStore is that everything that comes in here, all of our sales and all of our donations stays 100% in Rockford,” she said. “So, what do I love about Habitat? It’s tangible. You can see the outcome. At the end of the year, we have a house. And that’s probably the coolest thing that we do.”
Beyond the ultimate purpose of the ReStore to further Habitat’s work, Kelly also mentioned how it can be a meaningful and comforting place for community members to donate their possessions and loved ones’ belongings.
“At the ReStore, so many people are giving away possessions… and sometimes it can be very hard. We had a full week where everyone was struggling to give away things… We gave a lot of hugs away that week,” Kelly said. “I always promise the donors we’ll find good homes for their things.”
Kelly is one of the rare people who couldn’t decide which of her many fun facts to share. The one she landed on was pretty unique.
“I used to travel for folk music. I’d work for singer/ songwriters, and I ran concert series and festivals. And I was a road manager, travelling around the country with musicians,” she said, proudly adding that “I can change a guitar string in the dark in one minute and fifty seconds.”
Kelly is also an avid tennis fan— when she’s not at the ReStore, she’s most likely watching tennis, playing tennis, teaching tennis, or traveling to tennis tournaments.
Thank you, Kelly, for your enthusiasm and heart that you put into all that you do! You are so appreciated.