When I graduated from college in 2014, I felt overwhelmed by the possible routes I could take with my life. For the first time ever, I didn’t have school in my future and it was exciting, yet intimidating. With a degree in Environmental Studies, I felt I had a ton of knowledge, but little professional and hands-on experience. All I knew at the time was that I wanted to make a difference. I decided to join AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and my path began to form. After my first service term, I realized how rewarding service work was I started looking for other opportunities. I found Energy Corps and was excited there were jobs in my home state blending both service and environmental work. I applied for a few positions, and was thrilled when I was offered a position with Home Resource. Little did I know that this excitement was just the beginning.
When I walked into work the first day, I was greeted with so many smiling faces and friendly greetings and I immediately felt even luckier to have this opportunity. My week continued to get better as my supervisor sat me down to explain the mission of Home Resource.
Home Resource strives to build a vibrant and sustainable local economy through collecting and selling reusable building materials.The income from the store promote the education program and work programs. ZWAP! (Zero Waste Ambassador’s Program), teaches fifth grade students about climate change, the importance of reduce- reuse-recycle, how Home Resource puts a dent in Zero Waste, and how students can make their own contribution to waste reduction. I will be running the program this spring and I am excited that I have the opportunity to educate almost every fifth grade student in the Missoula county this year. These children will grow up knowing their impact on the earth and why it is important to live simply, create less waste and reuse/recycle the waste they do produce.
During my first week working with Home Resource we prepared for their Annual Benefit Auction. At the event, I witnessed the strong support the Missoula community contributes to this non-profit. The executive director of Home Resource gave a heartfelt and powerful speech about all of the wonderful and progressive things this organization does. She really captivated me when she mentioned the debate in our country between jobs and environment. She explained how Home Resource is a living, thriving example of how we can create a vibrant, local economy and support jobs while following a business model that reduces waste and teaches environmental problems and solutions. With only two weeks of work completed, I am already so proud to be a part of Home Resource.
The second week, I worked in the store and found it very rewarding work. Over the course of the week I organized and cleaned out pipes, roof shingles, and learned names and functions of different tools and building materials.. Not only was I able to be around great people, get fresh air, and make the store’s contents more accessible, I acquired new skills that I never would have imagined.
After a busy, yet deeply fulfilling two weeks. I am renewed with a sense of hope for the future knowing there are organizations like Home Resource and people who strive to live and work environmentally and socially conscious lifestyles. Home Resource shows how it is possible to educated the public and create green jobs under one roof while progressing towards a more sustainable future!
Alexa Holiday graduated from the University of Montana in 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Previously to joining Energy Corps, she served as an Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) member. With Americorps NCCC, Alexa provided educational support for elementary schools in Arizona and Colorado and created a solar energy exhibit for a children’s museum in Texas. Alexa is currently serving at Home Resource. She will support Missoula in becoming a Zero-Waste community and act as the primary youth educator for a waste reduction program.