Cast Offs Lead to Better Habitats

Giving new life to old treasures is a lofty calling and something I love to do.  Helping people live better lives ranks right up there with chocolate cake and spa treatments.  When I get to be involved with an organization that does both, I get shivers.

Recently, I finally made it out to visit two Habitat ReStores.  You probably have heard that Habitat for Humanity builds low-cost, safe housing for the communities they serve in the US and abroad.  In the Philadelphia area, there are several ReStores that are run by local Habitat chapters to help raise funds for their local projects by selling new and gently used donated household items.  The stores have an emphasis on building materials, but they also accept furniture, lighting, small household accessories, and many other items.  Donations are tax-deductible, and many of the items you’ll find at the stores are even new from the big box stores.

The Gloucester County ReStore is located in Pitman, South Jersey and carries way more than just doors and windows.  They have sofas, lighting fixtures, and bric-a-brac, even books.  The South Jersey chapter is finishing up their work on building an entire housing development, and they are working on several projects in the area. I worked on helping to build one of their homes years ago, before kids, of course. I fondly remember the old guys on Tuesday morning letting me help them hang kitchen cabinets when the time was right.

The Delaware County Habitat for Humanity ReStore  is located inside Granite Run Mall.  When we (me and my two tiny assistants) were there recently, we spied this gorgeous vintage coffee table with a granite top.  I wanted it, but don’t currently have a project right for it.  Just look at the detail and so sweet little wheels!  Like many items at the ReStores, this beauty doesn’t even need any rehab.

For instance, I spied these wonderful wood blinds, a full set of them, that would be just right for someone needing 30″ blinds.  They are high quality and undamaged.  There were six of them.

And this light, mantel and custom cornice are also the victim of someone’s decorating project, no doubt, but a steal for the next owner.

Yes, there is plenty of cute furniture for DIYers to keep busy with.  I spied this sweet cabinet.  Can’t you just see it all modernized with a fresh coat of cream or a dramatic black?

There are plenty of deals.  There are also some basic materials.  My girls both had their dolls with them on the day we visited, and since we’re in the middle (I hope the middle and not the start) of potty training, all the dolls got to sit on the potties that were in the store.

So go, visit the ReStores.  They will be thrilled if you can save a couple of bucks on your next project, and help them raise funds for their next Habitat for Humanity house in our area.