Married 48 years, Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteers Stan and Pat Henard are enjoying their retirement years.
“We’ve been volunteering for about 14 months now,” Pat said. “We had been thinking about different things we could do together, both at the same time, so we wouldn’t bore each other with our work stories when we came across an article in the paper that said the ReStore was looking for volunteers. It sounded like a good fit for us, so we called them. We knew Habitat for Humanity built homes, but we didn’t know what went on at the ReStore.”
First opened in 2005 at 6114 W. Ridge Road, just east of the intersection at Colfax on the north side of the street, the ReStore is a retail outlet open to the public 9am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday. Loaded with overstocked/discontinued new and used building materials, appliances and gently-used home furnishings donated by manufacturers, store contractors and individuals, the ReStore offers everyday savings up to 75% off retail prices.
“The ReStore is a treasure-hunter’s dream,” manager Kim DeRisi explained.
“Everything in the ReStore is donated so we can sell it at a fraction of the retail price. We partner with business and individuals to get the highest quality merchandise possible. We also rely on volunteers to help us out so that we can keep our costs as low as possible.”
“We volunteer one day a week for four hours,” Pat added. “We had no idea what went on at the ReStore, but it’s a really nice place to work, even though we don’t get paid. There’s always so much going on, something different every day. It’s very gratifying to see so many people repurposing items, giving them a new life, and how it generates money for building and rehabbing homes in our area.”
“When you donate items you no longer want to Habitat, you’re giving back to your community as well as being more earth friendly by keeping perfectly good things out of landfills,” DeRisi said.
For example, the ReStore is currently sponsoring an Appliance Trade-In with the support of the Home Builders Association of Northwest Indiana (HBANWI). When you buy a new appliance, you can help others in need, be green and receive a tax deduction by trading in your old, working appliance, according to DeRisi.
“Everyone is trying to save money wherever they can,” she said. “With donations, we are able to offer good used appliances at an affordable price. They are a popular item, and it keeps traffic up in the ReStore, which, in turn allows us to build more Habitat for Humanity houses in Northwest Indiana. Donors can call the ReStore Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm to schedule a pick up. A tax deductible donation receipt is given to everyone who donates.”
All ReStore sales provide Habitat with funds to build more homes throughout Lake County. Currently, properties and land for future builds are available and awaiting the right families.
Founded in 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. An independent organization led by a board of directors, Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in Lake County, including fundraising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing.
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana has built more than 56 homes in the local community. Habitat homes are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat home and the homes of others.
Everyone deserves a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. If you or someone you know is interested in building, volunteering, donating and/or becoming a Habitat homeowner, visit nwihabitat.org or call (219) 923-7265.