I was visiting a friend in Idaho a few months back and drove past something that caught my eye: A Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
It's a store, you see, that sells the sorts of things you need to build or renovate your house. At discount prices. It's like a thrift store version of a big-box DIY store with a non-profit agenda.
It is pure genius. Why didn't we have one? With all the development going on in the Temecula Valley? With all the foreclosures? It seemed to me that folks on both ends of the housing market number line could benefit.
Fortunately, I'm not in charge, or the idea never would've gone further than that corner of my brain marked "indignant". But the good folks at Inland Valley Habitat for Humanity are, not surprisingly, far more proactive than I.
"It's a win-win for everyone," said Inland Valley HfH Board President Liz Bibb (pictured above center). Bibb described the ways a ReStore benefits the community:
- Generating revenue for its Habitat for Humanity chapter
- Recycling and reusing resources that would otherwise be landfilled
- Providing and opportunity for Habitat homeowners to volunteer, thereby earning "sweat equity"
- Offering quality home improvement products at 40-70% below retail, available for purchase by the general public
Bibb notes, "We're actively seeking donations, but we're not a thrift store; we're not a garage sale." Which means they only accept donations of high quality items. Gently used is fine, trashed is not.
So when you first visit the Temecula ReStore, ignore the fact that the entry looks suspiciously like...
A thrift store. At least the furniture section. You will see the usual assortment of glass-topped tables, pressboard furniture, and beat upholstery. But that's OK, for two main reasons:
- There comes a time in nearly everyone's life where they will need something cheap to sit on, eat off of, and/or store things in; and
- If you walk through the furniture, you will find the meat and potatoes of the ReStore--value, value, value.
What do they sell? You name it:
- large appliances
- plumbing and electrical fixtures
- flooring & carpeting
- windows & doors
- lumber & hardware
- moulding & baseboards
- paint & painting supplies
If you need any sort of home improvement item, it would be foolish not to stop by the ReStore first, to see if they have what you need. And if you have leftovers from a previous project, bring them by to make a tax-deductible donation. They accept nearly any home improvement item in good, ready-to-use condition:
- full sheets of drywall
- large appliances
- unopened paint
- good-quality lumber
- new carpet and padding
- ceiling fans (with all pieces)
- unopened batts of insulation
That's not a complete list, by the way. If you have questions, check the website or give them a call. They don't accept automotive items, books, used carpet/paint/shower doors, solvents, bedding, chemicals and cleanings products, trash compactors, toys, electronics, small appliances, clothing, and plastic kitchenware.Donations are tax-deductible. Donors include developers, contractors, stores, and individuals, so you can be sure of a steady stream of quality materials available for sale. The ReStore will also be offering a pick-up service, so even if you don't have a strong back and pick-up truck, you can still donate.
The ReStore is also actively soliciting volunteers, for everything from forklift driving to grant writing. So if you've ever wanted to give back to your community, this is a great time to do it.There's one other reason to visit the ReStore. It's pleasant. The staff is there because they believe in a cause. There's an air of camaraderie, of teamwork, that you don't necessarily find in your run-of-the-mill when-does-my-shift-end retail establishment.
And if that isn't enough, there's this super-cute kids' potting table kit that the staff put together:
It's a fun family project, a darling gift, and you know you want one--but you can only find it at the ReStore.
27479 Enterprise Circle West
Open Tuesday thru Saturday
from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m