ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work participants benefit not-for-profits across the country while in the Transition2Work program. Participants are able to heal from their work-related injury while helping their community’s local not-for-profit – a true win-win!

One of the not-for-profits we work with is the Honolulu Habitat for Humanity. We work with Habitat for Humanity across the country but we sat down with Ivan Orozco, Volunteer Coordinator, for this local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International to learn how Transition2Work participants impact their mission.

Briefly describe your organization’s goals for the community you serve.

Honolulu ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, building materials and home accessories to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

The ReStore raises additional funds to support Habitat for Humanity’s mission to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to make decent, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action.

The main goal for Honolulu Habitat for is to build homes, communities, and hope for the people of O’ahu.

How has your experience been with ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work participants?

It’s rewarding being able to work alongside participants while recovering from their injuries. Almost all participants are new to the ReStore or Habitat for Humanity’s mission. It’s great getting them involved and once they understand our mission, they become some of our biggest advocates in our communities. Even after returning to work, we still have participants who come in to not only shop, but also volunteer on their free time.

In your opinion, how does the injured worker benefit from participating in T2W or volunteering in their community?

It gives participants an opportunity to not only recover from injuries but also remain active during their healing process. It helps them connect with the community, build new skills, and play an active role in meaningful work Habitat is doing in communities across O’ahu.

What is the most important message that you would like to relay to the readers about your organization?

With Hawaii having some of the highest housing costs in the nation, affordable housing is an issue that impacts communities across all the islands. Support from Honolulu ReStores’ shoppers, donors, and volunteers helps Habitat for Humanity create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

What is the best way readers can sign up to volunteer?

Come to Hawaii and volunteer as an individual or with a group at our Build Sites, ReStore, or office. Volunteer opportunities are available Monday through Saturday. For more information visit www.honoluluhabitat.org/volunteering today!

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