Habitat For Humanity’s ‘Restore’ Store

Habitat For  Humanity’s ‘Restore’ Store

A Surprising Source For Your Home Projects

s we start a new year (and new decade!), you may already be thinking about getting an early start on your spring house projects. One way to help stretch your budget dollars is to consider buying gently used or new items to help get your project completed. Did you know that we have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore (that’s the name they use for their retail store), here in the Lehigh Valley?  It’s located on Grape Street in Whitehall, on the site of the former Circuit City. 

While many people know that they accept merchandise donations (tax-deductible, by the way), many don’t realize that you can benefit from the donations made by individuals, contractors, businesses, retailers, and manufacturers. You’d be surprised at the sheer variety of things you’ll come across, including home furnishings (furniture, housewares, books, lighting), building materials (hardware, lumber, doors, electrical supplies, flooring, lumber, windows), and actual fixtures like bathtubs, sinks, toilets, appliances, and even kitchen cabinetry! Not all of the donations are used—some are brand new, but unneeded by the individual or business, and all items are sold well below their full original retail price.

Sometimes remodelers (professionals and the do-it-yourselfers), rather than send unneeded materials from their jobsites to the dump or landfill, take the time to uninstall things which they then donate. The ReStore is one of those hidden resources especially if you are looking to do a period renovation—where else might you find a harvest gold or avocado green appliance for that retro rec room in your basement? Taking a trip to the ReStore, you might find as you wander around the warehouse complete kitchens (including cabinets, sinks, and so forth), or a vintage sink you need for your 1960’s house. I’ve seen rows of exterior windows and doors that must have come from an older home that were donated.  It’s also a great place to look for mid-century modern furniture if you’re into that vibe. What’s great about places like this is that the inventory changes over quickly, so it’s worth checking out periodically.

I can tell you first-hand that they are appreciative of donations large and small.  When I updated all of the hardware on my kitchen cabinets (they were a lovely 1970’s-era antique brass door knocker-style with ornate backplate), I dropped off a large box of complete hardware. FYI, the two bathrooms and laundry room also had the same hardware! The folks there are great and very helpful (habitatlv.org/restore-home) and can also address questions if you need details on the types of donations they accept. If you’re unable to drop the items off yourself, they also can pick up large items, too.

Habitat Lehigh Valley has been around since 1989, and their mission is to offer local families in need a hand up, not a hand out. The Habitat ReStore opened in January 2013. Habitat LV uses the proceeds from ReStore sales to support efforts right here in the Lehigh Valley. They like to say their store is part home improvement store, part home goods store, and part resale store. If you are someone who is environmentally conscious, ReStores across the country help divert hundreds of tons of waste materials from landfills! 

Our ReStore can also recycle latex paint at no charge. According to paint.com, an estimated 10 percent of the more than 650 million gallons of architectural paint sold each year in the United States is unused. Post-consumer paint is the largest component of local household hazardous waste collection programs and is costly to manage. Recyclable latex paint is collected by the ReStore folks, mixed locally, and then sold. You reap the savings!

Whether you are on a budget, or looking for something unique to enhance your home, consider stopping by the ReStore and check out what they have. You may be surprised at what you find!

3 Ways to Donate

1 | DONATE ITEMS
You can either drop off donations, or contact the store to see if free pickup can be arranged.  Check the website for details and specifics as to what is accepted.  Think about what could be used by someone else.  They also can be tax deductible (check with your CPA to be sure!).

2 | SHOP FOR ITEMS
If you don’t have anything to donate but still want to help, consider shopping at these stores for home project materials!  If you have a penchant for thrift stores and yard sales, you may want to add the ReStore to your route.

3 |  VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
There are a myriad of ways you can volunteer including customer service, furniture repair, pricing inventory, and more. You can volunteer on a build site, too! You must be at least 16 for the construction site, and at least 18 to volunteer at ReStore.

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