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Habitat for Humanity ReStore

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How you can help by donating while renovating

If you are renovating, the chances are you will be ripping out some products that are still in good condition, just not to your taste. Also, you are likely to be looking for new pieces to add to your home. We chat with Rob Voisin, Director, National ReStore and Product Services, at Habitat for Humanity about their ReStores, how you can help and how they help others. 

How did the ReStore start in 1991? What was the thought behind it?

The very first ReStore was opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1991. The thought behind it was a way for Habitat to recycle building materials left over from builds, and convert construction and building materials donated for homes but, not used into funds to help acquire land and cover operating expenses. Once established, ReStores would become a business solution for many donors looking to offload scratch-and-dent, end of line and discontinued product, all while helping a charitable cause and keeping product out of landfill.

There are now over 80 store locations in Canada and 750 in the United States.

Where does the money raised from the ReStore go? How does it help?

Habitat ReStores raise funds for the Habitat for Humanity affiliates they are operated by, meaning the sale of products locally directly benefits the local community. ReStore sales generate funds for homebuilding while helping to offset the expenses incurred by each Habitat for Humanity affiliate that operates a store. If you were to divide the total revenue generated by ReStores in 2012 by Habitat for Humanity’s average cost to build a home, ReStores helped build 128 Habitat homes.

When people are renovating how can they consider the restore?

When renovating, Habitat for Humanity ReStores both accept donations of salable product (eg. doors, windows, furniture), which often means diverting these items from landfill, and also provide new and used supplies to cover many home renovation and decor needs. A tax receipt can be issued for the approximate value any donated items.

What can people donate?

ReStores accept a wide range of building supply, home and decor items including everything from door knobs to complete kitchens and appliances. The best way to find out if you can donate an item to your local store is to call ahead. Many ReStore will also pick up items such as appliances that may be difficult to drop off on your own. Some stores also provide deconstruction services, were they will remove kitchen cabinetry to then resell.

Several ReStores, particularly those in Ontario, also provide e-waste recycling services by partnering with programs like the Ontario Electronic Stewardship program.

How can people donate?

Donations are accepted at each ReStore location. If you are unsure as to whether an item will be accepted, it is best to call your local store.

What kind of things can be found at the restore?

Every ReStore is different, offering a unique shopping experience for those looking to renovate or add something new to their homes. The inventory is always changing, as new items are donated by local residents and businesses daily. Consumers can expect to find items such as windows, doors, paint, hardware, lumber, tools, lighting fixtures, furniture and appliances.

Find out more about the ReStore including locations at www.habitat.ca/restore

By Sarah Hoy

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