Robert Molendyk is good with his hands. He always has been; growing up in a farming community in southwest Montana, he had to be.
Now retired, Robert donates those good hands two days a week – every week – to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami ReStore.
As a boy, he helped fix farm equipment and machinery, and repaired old buildings. As a young adult, Robert used his fix-it skills to pay his way through high school and college. Now he is the Miami ReStore’s go-to handyman, repairing everything from donated furniture to the ReStore itself.
In his professional life, Robert taught high school mathematics, physical science, and served as a principal in Christian and nonsectarian private schools across the country. The father of four moved to Florida some years ago to teach, and eventually retired here. His career educating young minds now three years behind him, Robert has returned to his passion of restoring things – furniture, machinery, equipment – to their proper working order. He demonstrates this at both the ReStore, where he has been a full-time volunteer since September 2010, and at one of his church’s organizations, Disaster Response Services, which helps repair homes affected by natural disasters in the United States.
Volunteers like Robert give much more to Miami Habitat than their labor. Through the work that he does, bringing to bear all the skill and wisdom that he has acquired, Robert increases the ReStore’s capacity to serve Miami Habitat’s homeowner families. Thanks to his efforts, a piece of furniture that might have ended up in a landfill can become a salable item in the ReStore’s inventory, and eventually a valuable addition to someone’s home. In the process, the ReStore earns money that is used to build a home for a low-income family.
Robert is a devout Christian who has dedicated his life to the service of others, whether through his career as an educator or his dedication to his church activities or his volunteerism with the ReStore. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami is proud to have Robert Molendyk as February’s Featured Volunteer.
Click here to learn how to join Robert as a ReStore volunteer!