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Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009

Reused Items, Renewed Life at Habitat for Humanity ReStore

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The Habitat for Humanity ReStore (801 S. 60th St.) sells new and used doors, windows, appliances, furniture, electrical supplies and other household items. Proceeds from its sales go to benefit the local efforts of Habitat for Humanity. ReStore Director Jeri Kavanaugh talked to us about the goals and successes of this endeavor.

What are the goals of this organization?

The main goal is to support the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity and its missions, which include building affordable homes for low-income families, primarily in the central city of Milwaukee. Everything sold is donated by either an individual or a business, such as a construction company or a store with overstocked or discontinued items. These goods are sold at a fraction of their cost, and the donors get a tax receipt.

How do you go about achieving this?

Profit from everything that’s sold in the ReStore goes to support Habitat for Humanity. The store is 80% run by volunteers, along with a staff of five which sorts, puts away, prices and gets items ready for resale.

What are some successes of the ReStore?

We make it possible to reuse things that would otherwise wind up going into a landfill and, at the same time, help Habitat for Humanity. In 2009, we helped keep 640,000 pounds [of trash] out of landfills by instead selling these items. ReStore has been around for two and a half years, [and we] have been able to help build houses and help low-income families make low-cost improvements to their homes.

How has the struggling economy affected this organization and the need for it?

Sales are up due to the economy, but, fortunately, donations haven’t been reduced. We do offer pick-up services for gently used items that are in good working condition. People wondering if they have goods we can use should just give us a call at (414) 257-9078.

Photo by Amelia Coffaro

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