Habitat Bucks ReStores empower special needs individuals

Individuals with special needs often have difficulty gaining work experience and finding employment. In Bucks County, the Habitat for Humanity ReStores provide a place for diversified learners and those with special needs to gain experience in the real world.

Volunteers from The Comprehensive Learning Center (CLC), Bucks County Intermediate Unit, Foundations Behavioral Health, Shared Support, and other organizations obtain valuable work experience at the ReStores.

“Our diverse learner population benefits greatly from the opportunity to be more independent, gaining confidence and developing their communication and interpersonal skills in our ReStores,” says Colleen Brink, Volunteer & Outreach Director, Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County. “We want area families and organizations to know that we support the needs of individuals and empower them by offering them a place to build their life and work skills.”

Connor is a weekly volunteer at both the Langhorne and Chalfont ReStores and he comes from CLC in Southampton. He is glad to take advantage of this opportunity to develop job skills.

“Connor looks forward to his work days at the Habitat ReStore,” says his mom, Judy. “It’s important to him to be productive and valued, and the staff treat him as part of the team. He is proud to give back to the community that has given him so much. So it’s a win-win all the way around!”

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Volunteer to help kids – that’s Good Stuff (Thrift!)

Good Stuff Thrift of Fairless Hills is a local non-profit seeking volunteers for their store where the proceeds go to help kids.

“Our volunteers are integral to the processing of donations in the clothing, house ware, jewelry, electronics and loading dock departments,” said Volunteer Coordinator Karen Manzo.

Good Stuff raises money for children’s charities and helps others around Bucks County. They have four stores in the Bucks area.

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Art Goes to School seeking volunteers

Art Goes to School (AGTS), a volunteer art appreciation program which brings art reproductions into each Pennsbury School District elementary school classroom once a year, has been in existence for over 50 years. The volunteers engage the children in various ways in order to get them interested and excited about art.

Each year, the various chapters receive a different portfolio from the regional organization. Previous portfolios included works by Norman Rockwell, Pablo Picasso, Renoir, Vermeer, and Marc Chagall.

The volunteers spend 45 minutes in a classroom and can choose among a variety of techniques to make their presentation, some using games or poetry, others using a historical or compare-and-contrast approach.

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Become part of the legend known as the Village Renaissance Faire

“Come one, come all” says Founder and Faire Director Ken Hone, “and help us not only continue, when so many other events are ending, but expand so we can provide more to our community.”

“And best of all” he continues, “this is run by and for the Village Library of Wrightstown, so all support is tax-deductible and all volunteer hours are fully available for any community service needs, credits or hours one might need.”

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Volunteers needed!

Staying Put in Lower Bucks is looking for your talents! Staying Put utilizes volunteers to help older adults in Lower Bucks County remain at home and actively engaged in their community for as long as possible.

They are looking for volunteers to provide support services such as: transportation, friendly social visits, telephone reassurance, assistance in home and yard, minor handyman services, pharmacy/grocery pickups and delivery and help planning social events.

Sometimes the best time of your life is the time you give to others. If interested call Charlie or Rene at 215-428-0500 ext. 103 or e-mail stayingput@ivinsoutreach.org.

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Help United Way ‘Stuff the Bus’ with school supplies for children in need

by June Portnoy

Parents, it’s that time of year again to begin back to school shopping. Although a routine annual purchase for most, many low-income Bucks County families perceive school supplies as more of a luxury item than a necessity. It’s not unusual for these families to be faced with the dilemma of choosing between buying school supplies and putting food on the table.

According to Danielle Bush, Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement at the United Way of Bucks County (UW Bucks), there are approximately 20,000 kids in Bucks County who struggle to have their basic needs met. That number includes children in all school districts throughout the county.

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Habitat ReStores: Not just thrift stores

Habitat for Humanity ReStores sell new and gently used furniture, cabinets, appliances, building supplies, housewares, and decor at a fraction of the retail price. The Bucks County ReStores alone keep 100,000 pounds of materials out of landfills each month while financially supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build affordable homes for local families.

But what you may not know is that the Habitat ReStores in Langhorne and Chalfont aren’t just thrift stores. They also serve special needs, seniors, students, and low-income individuals through employment, work-study, and charity initiatives.

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Impact Thrift seeking volunteers

Impact Thrift welcomes YOU a few hours a week supporting area charities in an Impact Thrift Store near YOU: Bristol, Feasterville, Hatboro, Norristown or Montgomeryville. Escape the summer heat in their bright, clean, air-conditioned stores helping their friendly customers and assisting staff with dressing rooms, displaying goods, greeting guests and keeping the stores stocked, organized and ready for shoppers.

Proceeds support neighbors in need.  E-mail joanmarie.brown@impactthrift.org to learn more!

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Volunteers needed!

“Staying Put” in Lower Bucks is looking for your talents! Staying Put utilizes volunteers to help older adults in Lower Bucks County remain at home and actively engaged in their community for as long as possible.

They are looking for volunteers to provide support services such as: transportation, simple handyman services, telephone reassurance, friendly social visits, assistance in home and yard, pharmacy/grocery pickups and delivery and help planning social events. Sometimes the best time of your life is the time you give to others.

Anyone interested should call Charlie or Rene at 215-428-0500 ext. 103 or e-mail stayingput@ivinsoutreach.org.

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NOVA Thrift Shop invites volunteers to join its team

NOVA Thrift Shop, which sells gently used clothing and household items to support the services and programs offered by Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA), is seeking volunteers to join its store staff. The store, located at Route 313 (Swamp Road) and New Galena Road north of Fountainville, is one of Bucks County’s best thrift shops.

Since 2001, it has donated nearly $2.2 million to support NOVA’s crime prevention programs and comprehensive services to crime victims in Bucks County.

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