MCACC’s Nicholas Glaze Volunteers Toward Independence

A variety of photos of MCACC's Nicholas Glaze volunteering unloading a truck, arranging merchandise and cleaning a stock room.

Nicholas Glaze, a participant at the Monarch Creative Arts and Community Center (MCACC), receives valuable life skills while volunteering at Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Moore County.

Nicholas Glaze knows that working within his community as a volunteer today will help him achieve the goals he has established for himself.

Working toward achieving and accomplishing his life goals is important to Glaze, a day program attendee at Monarch’s Creative Arts and Community Center (MCACC) in Moore County’s Southern Pines.

Glaze, 18, is currently a volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Rockingham. He is happy to have the opportunity to give back to his community while learning skills that eventually will be important to gaining and maintaining employment.

When Glaze began attending MCACC last June, he discussed with Community Engagement Team Leader Bob Huber life goals and planning for the future. Glaze wants to eventually live independently, as well as drive a car and plan for his future. For now, Glaze lives at home in Hamlet with his parents and three brothers.

Part of Huber’s role at MCACC is to identify and partner with community agencies who are able to assist the day program attendees in being active participants within their communities through volunteer roles or employment.

The MCACC typically has 60 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) enrolled in the program, however due to COVID-19, 18 day program attendees are participating with an additional 15 receiving support in the community. The pandemic has temporarily paused the MCACC’s course selection which has included pottery, art, dance and music programs.

In partnership with his Direct Support Professional Patricia Peterson, Glaze spent time last summer visiting local, community agencies filling out applications and speaking to management to see if any local programs would be a good fit. He landed his role as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity after an in-person visit and began learning the new role in August.

“It’s pretty cool and I like working there,” Glaze commented. “I like to work and I am not afraid to do what they ask me.” Glaze explained that he is assigned a variety of tasks during his volunteer shifts including unloading the trucks, checking in donations and stocking shelves, and typically volunteers two to three days each week.

Glaze believes that the best part about volunteering is getting to know other people, including the staff and community members who shop at the store. Peterson, who is on hand to assist Glaze while volunteering, said she has seen his social skills improve while working with the Habitat for Humanity staff and customers: “He has learned to help people and communicate with people.”

While Glaze is providing a much-needed service as a volunteer, the role also provides him with learning valuable skills. “He is basically learning to accept more responsibility through his volunteer role,” Peterson noted. “He is also learning how to follow rules that one day as a paid employee will be very important.”

The Rockingham Habitat for Humanity location closed recently but Glaze transferred to the location in Moore County and will continue volunteering.

Mary Ortiz, the manager at Habitat for Humanity ReStore and who works directly with Glaze, appreciates her volunteers helping the locations run smoothly. “He is doing great and he is a wonderful volunteer,” she said of Glaze, who she added takes care of a little bit of everything at the ReStore, working hand in hand with staff. “He is friendly and has an outgoing personality. He is welcomed by both customers and employees.”

Proceeds from the Habitat for Humanity ReStores go to their corporate office with funds dispersed for work within local communities. Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit providing affordable housing for families.

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