Ian Armstrong first learned about Habitat for Humanity when he was in grade school, but he never imagined he’d be volunteering for the organization, until he tore his labrum. The injury left him unable to perform his regular job as a trash collector for Waste Management, and the company didn’t have any light duty work for him to take on while he recovered. That’s when he discovered an opportunity to volunteer at the Habitat LA ReStore.
Ian is currently spending his work weeks at our Torrance ReStore, where he is known affectionately as “The Assembler.” Whenever the ReStore receives a donation of furniture that needs to be put together, or any time something gets broken, Armstrong is the man for the job. “I have my own little workshop, with tools and a desk in the back of the store,” he said.
Habitat ReStores sell gently used furniture, appliances, building materials, and housewares at a fraction of the retail price; the profits go to support Habitat LA’s mission. With 11 truckloads of donated merchandise rolling in daily, Ian said he sees some of the same customers come into the ReStore every day, looking for bargains.
Ian, 44, still needs shoulder surgery and more rehab before he can return to his duties as a trash collector. For now, he is enjoying his time volunteering at the ReStore, and so are his co-workers. “Our day to day operations run more smoothly when we have Ian volunteering in the ReStore,” said Bryan Botello, Store Manager of the Torrance ReStore. “He is a hard worker and a joy to have in the store.”