TR Sailors Lend the Community a Helping Hand


Room after room, objects once owned by someone else lined walls, stacked to the ceiling. The home goods, furniture, clothes and electronics lay scattered, begging for attention.

With the help of Sailors stationed aboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), volunteers donated their time from July 22 – July 24 to volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Norfolk, Virginia.

Sailors organized and put up for sale these perfectly good items for those who may not be able to afford them in their new form.

 ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and proceeds are used to build homes, locally and around the world.

Theodore Roosevelt (TR) Sailors worked with ReStore employees for three days, helping to clean the facility and organize thousands of items to be sold to the public.

“We’ve been so busy with the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) lately, its been hard to get out and volunteer,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Matthew Warthan, from Richmond, Virginia. “With INSURV done, it’s nice to be able to come out to help and do something good for the community.”

Every month, hundreds of donations come in to the store, so TR volunteers received a warm welcome by the facility and its employees.

“We love having Sailors volunteer here,” said Jacqueline Nash, Habitat for Humanity employee and former volunteer. “They do a great job and are so polite. Military volunteers work faster and harder than anyone. They just keep going and going and going.”

TR has a long relationship with Habitat for Humanity and community relations organizers aboard the ship plan to strengthen that relationship this year by increasing volunteer participation and opportunities. The aim is to build a dedicated group of volunteers who want to help Habitat for Humanity provide homes in the local community.

“Our goal is to get out there and help build houses,” said Religious Programs Specialist 2nd Class Michael Judge. “This is our first time with Habitat (this year). They like volunteers to first start here in the warehouse to get experience. From here, we will attend orientation and then we will be able to help build houses.”

TR volunteers agree that volunteering is one of the best ways to spend your time while in port. As summer continues, they plan to attend more volunteering projects and encourage others aboard TR to do the same.

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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katie Lash, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs