What the Heck is a Re-Store?

by Dave on August 22, 2009

Great Bargains At Habitat Facility Are The Latest Way to Give Back

How can you give back and still end up with something nice for yourself?

People all over coastal Sussex County have been doing just that for many months now at the Sussex County Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Georgetown.

Here’s the lowdown: everyone from ordinary people building or remodeling a home to large building companies with surplus products donate them to the ReStore, whose volunteers then sell the excess products to shoppers at excellent prices.

“It’s something that can be of interest to all sectors of our society,” says Habitat Executive Director Kevin Gilmore. “Whether you’re renovating your kitchen, getting rid of perfectly good cabinets, but you need a new style, you can donate those to the ReStore and get the tax write-off. We then take them and if we can put them in a Habitat house, we will. If we can’t we sell them to the public. We have all sorts of building materials. A lot of it is brand new, from box stores who change their inventory lines to things that people are donating that are in perfectly good condition but are no longer of use to them. So we sell these building surplus materials at least 50% off what you would find in a retail store.”

The revenues earned from the ReStore then go into the Habitat for Humanity fund from which the organization builds simple, decent houses for those in need.

“This past year is the first year of the ReStore, and we were able to raise enough money to build one additional Habitat house,”adds Gilmore. “In addition to that, all of the people who improved their quality of life by putting in a new furnace, a new water heater, new cabinets, doors, windows, all of the types of products that we sell here in the ReStore.”

ReStore manager Denise Jackson sees first hand on a daily basis how the ReStore customer base grows and what they buy.

“75% of the customers are coming in via word of mouth and people buy whatever we have (at the time),” says Jackson. “Kitchen renovations were down over the winter, but people still bought windows and doors.”

There are ReStore facilities in 48 states. According to Habitat for Humanity International, which describes the stores as “retail outlets where quality, used and surplus building materials are sold at a fraction of normal prices. Proceeds from ReStores help local affiliates fund the construction of Habitat houses within the community. Many affiliates across the United States and Canada operate successful ReStores—some of which raise enough funds to build an additional 10 or more houses per year.

Materials sold by Habitat ReStores are usually donated from building supply stores, contractors, demolition crews or from individuals who wish to show their support for Habitat. In addition to raising funds, ReStores help the environment by rechanneling good, usable materials into use.”

If you want to help others and improve your home, the Georgetown ReStore is located on Depot Street in Georgetown and is open from 10am to 5pm Wednesday through Friday and 10am to 3pm on Saturday.

This article first appeared in Coastal Sussex Weekly, June 25, 2009.

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