On Saturday, Habitat for Humanity opened their new ReStore in Merrillville on Route 30. This is the second ReStore that Habitat for Humanity has in the region and it serves as a great place to find incredible prices, sometimes up to 90% off retail, on everything from cabinets, rugs, sofas and tables to doors, windows and light fixtures.
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“We’re super excited about this!” said project manager, Kristin Marlow-Kellemen. “The ReStore is Habitat’s way of building sustainability into their Christian Housing Ministry to eliminate poverty housing in Lake County. One of the things we stand behind is that we believe in a hand up instead of a hand out. We don’t just give someone a home. They purchase their home at 0% interest and put a down payment down on the home and their credit requirements. They are what we call ‘Sweat Equity’ requirements. A partner family has to put in 300 hours of sweat equity which means they are buying with their time the opportunity to buy a Habitat For Humanity house.”
“We operate this ReStore to fund our program,” Marlow-Kellemen said. “The items that are donated to our store are donated by individuals and businesses. There are used and new items and these are more hard goods. We don’t take mattresses or clothing. All the items are donated to the store, we sell them and then the profits go to fund our mission. It’s the way we fund ourselves. We’re hoping this store will generate enough money in the first year to build two Habitat homes.”
Habitat has been focused on the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle. To compare, another Habitat ReStore that is one-third the size of the new Merrillville location diverted over 550k pounds of usable refuse in 2015. Through the ReStore, Habitat For Humanity is having a lasting impact on the region far beyond building houses.
There to give demonstrations to shoppers and to show off some of the work they can do was Kathleen O’neill from Sandpaper. At Sandpaper, O’neill and co-owner Kathleen Cusson refresh old home decor and provide workshops for people looking to refurbish their old housewares or furniture.
“Habitat for Humanity actually contacted us but we’ve been frequent visitors to their ReStore in Griffith,” said O’neill. “We probably go there once or twice a month or materials. We sell all kinds of home decor and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. There’s no sanding or priming needed with the paint and what’s nice too is you can use a wax, either clear or dark, to seal it with to protect against wear and tear. We’re doing half and halfs to display what things look like before and after painting. We have half of a kitchen cabinet, a metal lamp and a chair that we’re just painting the seat which was in pretty rough shape. You can use the paint on anything from wood and metal to concrete to plastic.”
“This is our first time working with Habitat for Humanity,” O’neill said. “We’re planning on doing monthly workshops in the future here in their store because this is such a nice, large location. When you’re doing what we do this is the perfect kind of place where you can find anything and everything worth refinishing.”
Sandpaper has locations in Schereville and Valparaiso. To find out more, go to: http://www.sandpaperin.com/
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore features three cameras that each pan and take five pictures every ten minutes that are uploaded immediately to the ReStore website so shoppers can get a look at the merchandise that’s in the store before leaving the house. To check it out, go to: http://nwirestore.org/ and click on the ReStore Live button.