By: Josh Stark, Driving Team
I went to high school in the area and learned about the ReBuilding Center while being involved in my school’s Sustainability Team. A few years later, I heard about an open Salvage Specialist position. I applied, had one of my best interviews, and was hired! That was almost four years ago.
On my first day, I had to adapt right away. I learned quickly that the amount of change you want to start is up to you. You have the power to see projects through, create waves of efficiency in your own workplace, and set your own goals. Just like the neighborhood, the ReBuilding Center was very different even just a few years ago. It was pleasantly hectic with a new challenge around every corner. I thrive in fast-paced environments, so this was a lot of fun for me. There were a lot of quite literal team-building exercises that happened daily.
One of my first impressions of the ReBuilding Center was that no matter who you are, everyone belongs here. The ReBuilding Center community is full of people you can connect with – people who feel like you have known them your entire life. This place has healing capabilities that can have an effect on everyone involved. Dealing with challenges is unavoidable, but there is always a fulfilling experience that can bring you back. Seeing the joy in customers when they find exactly what they are looking for or when we give them advice on projects is an amazing reward.
I worked as a Salvage Specialist for about a year and a half. After that, I’ve worked multiple management positions focusing on the Driving Team. I really enjoyed being a Driver. I got to see the life cycle of the materials, from donor to customer. It gave the materials more meaning for me. Being a Driver also opened up my eyes to the hard work that our staff does out in the field. This experience helped me connect with and understand what people were going through. There have been many changes over the years, but our foundation is strong. We have remained focused on the impact that we are here to make.
One of my fondest memories is moving tiny homes until late into the night. It wasn’t easy work, but we were dedicated. Working closely with other ReBuilding Center staff, I realized how large of an effect one person can have on this organization. We were working long hours, driving all over the city to bring the tiny homes to villages for those experiencing houselessness. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding to put my personal time aside to get this work done.
When I think of the future of the ReBuilding Center, what gives me hope is the passion that can be found here. When something is possible, we do it. We’re constantly moving forward and trying our best. I think we all have the same mentality of looking at a challenge and wanting to take it on as a team.