Volunteer Profile: The Breaux Family

For the past several months, we’ve spotlighted our generous donors, the businesses and individuals that fill our store with furniture, appliances, and building materials. This week, we’re focusing on another aspect of the ReStore: our volunteers.

When the ReStore recently received a large donation from the International Floriculture Expo at the Convention Center, we knew exactly which hard working volunteers to call in for some extra help: Lynn and Byron Breaux. This brother and sister pair dedicated two days to lifting, transporting, and organizing that huge array cut flowers, vases, and live plants.

“I went to sleep seeing flowers,” says Byron.

The Breaux Family has been involved with New Orleans Habitat since 2011, when older sister Dianne became one of our partner families. Her younger sister Lynn and brother Byron came out to help her complete her sweat equity hours and, since then, both Lynn and Byron have themselves become Habitat partner families. Even though Lynn closed on her house in March of 2013, and Byron has moved on to sweat equity at the construction site, they still come back ReStore to lend a hand.

“Every day is a good day at the ReStore,” says Byron.

For Lynn and Byron, it’s the people that make all the difference. While the ReStore helps generate money to build homes for partner families, Lynn adds that “it’s also bringing in a lot of people from the community.” It becomes a real meeting place for all the donors, customers and volunteers that make the ReStore tick: “You meet so many people,” says Lynn. “Carpenters, plumbers… I met some of my colleagues from before Katrina!”

As they volunteer at the ReStore, the Breauxs like seeing the joy that both donors and customers get from their interactions. Lynn says, “The people that come in and donate everything have a smile on their face. They’re ready to talk and everything!” And the customers get excited, too, says Lynn, when they “come in and see something they like and say ‘Oh, I know what I could do with this!’”

And it’s not just the customers and donors but the friendliness of the staff at the ReStore that keep Lynn and Byron coming back. “The ReStore is really nice. It’s relaxing,” says Lynn.

“Even if you don’t know what you’re doing,” says Byron, “they’ll come along and help you and teach you and show you. And that’s the best thing about any job is somebody helping teach you something you didn’t know so you can teach somebody else. So you can pass the knowledge on.”

“Everybody’s been really friendly,” says Lynn, “and they reach out and help you as much as they can. So you should give back. Even when it’s all said and done, I’m still gonna come here and work and volunteer.”

“You see the same people come in all the time,” Byron adds. “They become just like family.”

Thank you, Lynn and Byron, for being part of our family.

To find quality items for a great price, come visit us at the ReStore this week! We’re located at 2900 Elysian Fields Avenue, open from 10-6 Tuesday through Saturday.  Interested in donating? Swing by to drop your donation off, sign up for a pickup on our website, or give us a call at 504-943-2240.