What would the ideal excursion look like for you? Is it a drive along coastal highways or majestic mountain peaks? Or are you more the type who veers off the recommended routes for unknown adventures?
This issue of Habitat World takes you on a very special road trip — along a route that an adventurous and committed soul could technically travel around the U.S. and Canada. It’s a route that stops at an eclectic sampling of Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Last year, our ReStore resale outlets produced $77 million in profits that went directly into furthering our mission.
In the more than 800 ReStores in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia, you will likely find the typical items: furniture, cabinets and appliances — some of them brand new. However, excited shoppers have also picked up granite slabs and countertops, chandeliers, and even drawer pulls that look like individually wrapped pieces of bubble gum.
You will also discover that ReStores bring people together. We are grateful for the large corporations and small businesses that provide gifts-in-kind. We also appreciate individuals who donate ordinary and extraordinary items that end up being just perfect for someone else. Those repurposed products keep tons of materials from being added to landfills and create revenue for local affiliates.
ReStores also provide volunteer opportunities and create awareness about our work. Mark Wenderlich, the new executive director of Ontario County Habitat in Canandaigua, New York, got involved with the local affiliate through the ReStore. He dropped in and found items he could use as props in a play he was directing at the local college. Intrigued by all the donations and the possibilities for supporting affordable housing, he was hooked.
I hope you will take our ReStore journey — by reading the article and by visiting the ReStore nearest you. (If anyone actually makes the road trip, let us hear about your adventure!) You never know what bargains you will discover among the building materials and home furnishings. You can be certain, however, that your purchases will help fund housing improvements for more families. Your support is another way you can be the hands and feet of Jesus to help families who dream not of a road trip, but of a simple, decent place to call home.