ReStore to benefit Habitat for Humanity
McHenry County Habitat for Humanity is hoping to open a ReStore in Woodstock before the end of the year and is looking for volunteers to help run it.
ReStores accept donations of new and gently-used home improvement goods, furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances. The stores sell to the public at a fraction of retail prices and use proceeds to help achieve the organization’s mission. More than 750 ReStores exist in the nation.
The McHenry County chapter hopes to open its ReStore by the end of the year. It would be located in a portion of the former K-Mart building which also houses the Sears Fashion Outlet.
“If everything works out as hoped, we plan to be open by Thanksgiving,” said Mark Peteler, ReStore director.
The store, Peteler said, would be located on the north side of the building and would comprise about 14,000-square feet. He said the store would likely be open a few days a week, but volunteers would be needed to staff four or five days due to drop-off and stocking needs.
“We’ll probably need about six to eight volunteers a day,” Peteler said. Volunteers would likely work four-hour shifts about once a week. He said a volunteer coordinator, who would work 10 to 20 hours per week, is needed most. Prospective volunteers can call Peteler at 815-759-9002.
The stock at ReStores varies depending on donations, Peteler said. Typically, ReStores see about 40 percent of materials donated from builders, while the remaining donations come from individuals or businesses. The donations are tax deductible.
“The builders don’t like to see this stuff end up in a landfill,” Peteler said, noting that ReStores also offer a way for builders to dispose of the materials without fees. “We see just a tremendous potential here to make this thing go.”
The McHenry County chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been in existence since 1995. The organization is currently building its 23rd house, but executive director Jerry Monica said the agency does far more than build houses.
“We try to look at where the greatest need is in the county,” he said. “We’ve broadened our reach. For us, [building new houses] is a very small percentage of what we do now.”
For example, programs to help make home repairs for people in need are a major component of the organization’s mission. Monica also said 57 percent of people in McHenry County live in housing that is not considered affordable to them.
“It’s a gigantic issue,”Monica said. “When it comes to fixing their house, a lot of times it becomes a luxury item.”
As federal grant money dwindles, Monica said it’s important for the organization to find ways to begin raising unrestricted dollars. He said the ReStore is one way they can do this.
“Every [non-profit organization] is under pressure now,” Monica said. “We have to find ways to be more self-sufficient.”