Volunteer Hilary Law Is Up for ‘Whatever Needs to Get Done’
April 2017—Hilary Law has been around Boston Building Resources for many years. She first became a member when she bought her home in Jamaica Plain in 1996. So, when she decided to make a volunteer commitment, BBR was the organization that came to mind.
“It’s important in some way to be in service to others,” she said. “I got to a moment when I realized that too much of what I was doing was for myself, and I wanted to change that.”
Hilary spends two hours each week helping in the Reuse Center receiving area, preparing donated materials for sale. “I just try to go in and do whatever needs to get done,” she says. “Sometimes there’s mundane things to do and sometimes there’s more interesting things. Sometimes there’s a 15-minute project to do and sometimes there’s things that I work on for weeks.”
The cabinets in Hilary’s kitchen came from BBR’s co-op. She purchased them unfinished and painted them herself in a patchwork of greens to match a variety of objects in her collection. She also purchased a couple of replacement windows over the years, and now has her eye out at the Reuse Center for oak flooring as she’s planning a renovation to her front door and entryway this spring.
When the Making Doors Work workshop was offered several years ago, Hilary was quick to sign up to host the event. “Every door but one in my house has a problem.” Instructor Becky Pierce diagnosed the different issues and demonstrated both quick fixes and more elaborate ones. “It was fantastic. The people who took the workshop had a huge range of experience, and there were different perspectives on the way to solve the problem,” she said. “It shows you that there’s not necessarily one right way to do it, especially with an old house. Now, if a door gives me problems, I know how to fix it.”
During her volunteer hours, Hilary has been impressed by the staff’s efforts to help customers. “A lot of times, customers are trying to make a decision, but they don’t have all the information. The staff will spend however much time it takes to help someone figure out what it is that they need. They just seem incredibly patient.”
Working with the donated materials, she says, “I always see a million projects,” but she tries to stay realistic about what she can take on. “It’s wonderful being there every week, because I see the incredible things that come in.”