For this Saturday volunteer outing, we set out to do something around both environment and housing. The Habitat ReStore on the East side is moving to a new location (the new store is opening 11/20!) and they needed help cleaning and moving around materials at their old location as well as setting up the new store.
This is important because the Habitat ReStore supports Habitat for Humanity of Dane County by selling new and used building materials to the public at discount prices, making home improvements more affordable. All proceeds from the Habitat ReStore help build or remodel Habitat homes in Dane County. The Habitat ReStores have helped Habitat for Humanity build 28 homes in Dane County since opening. Also, the ReStore prevents usable building materials from going to a landfill. The Habitat ReStore has kept 5,451 tons of building materials out of Dane County’s landfills!
This opportunity came to us via Valerie Johnson, CUDE, who is CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County (also pictured above front left). It was great to have Valerie onsite assisting during the outing, as she filled us in on the great happenings at Habitat, including “Almost Home,” new a financial capability program for current and prospective Habitat homeowners that is rolling out soon. We also learned that between the two ReStores, they have only about 8-9 paid staff but over 200 volunteers! Wow. That explains the great quotes celebrating volunteers painted all around the ReStore, some of which are posted below.
We had a productive and rewarding time. Our group was split upon arrival – some of us stayed at the old store, to break down fixtures and load a truck with materials to go to the new store. The rest of the group went a few blocks away to the new store, where they helped sort and set up the store. They also did a lot of cleaning, which you can see below (check out their awesome before and after work on the checkout counter!). Both groups met back up at the new store and worked together in the final hour. I’ve posted pictures of both groups below (click any to view full-size) and since the new store used to be a grocery store, I was able to take a great shot looking down from the old manager’s office!
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill