This post is part of a series to help you get to know the many faces at the Habitat Wake ReStores. Meet a new face and read a little about the people who make up our great team.
Name and Title: TJ Bandiera, Assistant Manager at the Glenwood Ave ReStore.
Home town: Maple Heights, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland)
Current town: Fuquay-Varina
When did you start working at Habitat Wake? May 1, 2017, but I started volunteering at the ReStores in October of 2016.
What is your favorite thing about working for Habitat? When I meet one of the homeowners in the ReStore. I always enjoy talking with them and learning how getting a Habitat home has changed their lives. Most of the time it is very emotional and reinforces in my mind the good work everyone that works or volunteers for Habitat is doing for the community.
What does your typical work day look like? I spend most of my day interacting with customers shopping in the ReStore or who are donating items to us. We spend a lot of time processing and pricing the donations and getting them to the sales floor. There is always something new or different in the ReStore due to the wide variety of items that are donated to us on a daily basis.
TJ with his mother and nieces and nephews at Easter this year.
What do you do in your spare time? My main hobby is I sing in the Triangle Gay Men's Chorus. We are currently practicing for our Spring Concerts, which will be held the first 2 weekends in June. We perform 2 shows in Raleigh, one in Durham and one in Chapel Hill. If anyone is interested in coming to see one of our Spring Concerts, they can check out our website, which is tgmchorus.org. We also have sang the National Anthem at the Cary Soccer Park, and we will do pop-up street performances at various places. I also love to go the Flea Market and Farmer's Market. And--I am a roller coaster fanatic. I grew up in Ohio fairly close to Cedar Point and we went there quite often. Since I have been in North Carolina (just over 2 years), I have already made 3 trips to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA -- and I have a trip planned to go again very soon.
Favorite meal: I am Italian, and I love anything that is Italian food. Give me a bowl of pasta and gravy anyday, anytime!!
Dream vacation: I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. My cousin and her husband went a few years ago and had such a good time.
TJ with his sister Megan, his nieces Piper and Emerson, and his nephew Sullivan.
Do you have any strange hidden talents? When I was younger, for some reason, I taught myself the ABCs backwards on a Fisher Price school desk that had a tray of magnet letters. So now, on command, I can recite the ABCs backwards just as fast as I can do them forwards. If you stop by the Glenwood ReStore and see me, ask me to do it. I will!!
Favorite piece you’ve seen or purchased in the ReStore: My favorite donation I have seen come into the ReStore was an antique 1800's wood telephone booth. It was so cool! And heavy!