Habitat’s Hidden Gem: Meeting with Jessica Schwindt

A smile beams across her face as each customer sets foot inside and a cheerful “hello” always follows. After working at the Store for almost three years, Lead Cashier and Ellensburg-native Jessica Schwindt has perfected the ability to make customers feel appreciated and welcomed every time they step foot in the shop.

Schwindt has become well-loved by not only the regular Store customers but even those who stop by for a quick visit due to her strong dedication to the Habitat community. She explains, “Habitat employees are so thankful for each and every one of our customers,” which is part of the reason she brings joy to her work every day. 

Her Motivation

One reason she continues to work for Habitat is due to the remarkable results for the community. “I think our small store has a big impact,” Schwindt says. “Not only are we able to provide discounted goods to our community but we are also able to provide affordable housing to families in our county.”

She adds, “I also love helping our customers, we get such a variety of people that come through each day that it is so fun getting to know them all.”

In addition to her desire to provide for the Kittitas County community, there are many other reasons Schwindt is passionate about her work with Habitat. “I have loved my job ever since I first [started] working,” she says. “[One] of my absolute favorite things about working at Habitat are … each of my coworkers, they are like family to me.” 

A Second Family

But, what makes this team function like a family? The ability to continue working together with support and assistance from the community. 

“Our community is so generous with donations that you would be surprised how many nice items come through every day,” explains Schwindt. Donations of any kind keep the Store running and bringing funding back to programs for the county.

“I think people don’t often realize that any proceeds that are made off of the donations here in the county, stay in the county,” she says. This helps fund many of the programs Habitat has developed. 

Schwindt adds, “We don’t just build houses but also, we have a program that helps with critical home repairs,” which all receive support from the Store. 

Even though the Habitat community is growing, “I think our Habitat store here in Ellensburg is kind of a hidden gem, we aren’t the most well-known Store but we have so many great treasures,” explains Schwindt.

Dedicated Store employees such as Schwindt are what make Kittitas County Habitat for Humanity successful. Stop by the Habitat Store once it is reopened and become a part of this tremendous community.