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updated: 2/21/2011 11:46 AM

Habitat for Humanity to open ReStore in Aurora

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  • Jeff Barrett, executive director of Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity, says the ReStore will help the agency be more self-sustaining while also keeping construction materials out of landfills.

       Jeff Barrett, executive director of Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity, says the ReStore will help the agency be more self-sustaining while also keeping construction materials out of landfills.
    DANIEL WHITE | Staff Photographer

  • The new Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore will sell home construction and renovation items including chairs, cabinets, doorknobs and tools once it opens March 9.

       The new Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore will sell home construction and renovation items including chairs, cabinets, doorknobs and tools once it opens March 9.
    DANIEL WHITE | Staff Photographer

  • Volunteers Robert Remy, top, and Daniel Selmon, both of Aurora, work on painting the walls of the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Volunteers will staff the store.

       Volunteers Robert Remy, top, and Daniel Selmon, both of Aurora, work on painting the walls of the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Volunteers will staff the store.
    DANIEL WHITE | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's like Goodwill, only for building materials.

It supports a charitable cause.

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It's a Habitat for Humanity ReStore opening Wednesday, March 9, at 4100 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora.

"We don't exist just to have a retail store. There's no reason for that," said Jeff Barrett, executive director of Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity. "It's a way of being a little more self-sustaining than having to be totally dependent on sponsorships and donations."

The ReStore will raise funds for the nonprofit by selling used, donated goods including bathtubs, shelving, toilets, cabinets, lockers, windows, doors, tools and decorative home elements from a 28,000-square-foot retail location in an outlot at Westfield Fox Valley mall.

While its soft opening is scheduled for March 9, the store will have a grand opening, complete with TV giveaways and other specials, on Saturday, April 30, Barrett said.

The focus on selling items for home construction or home improvement fits with Habitat for Humanity's mission, volunteer manager Ron Kelso said.

"I believe in the mission of providing affordable housing for low-income families," Kelso said. "It's more than just the houses. There are lots of residents we touch in ways other than housing."

Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity has constructed 45 homes since 1992, Barrett said. The organization holds the mortgage for each home it builds and charges residents only the actual construction cost.

"It's still a great deal for them because they don't have to pay interest," he said.

Habitat for Humanity has such widespread name recognition that people are lining up to help, ReStore manager Kathleen Talanda-Potts said. About 700 people or organizations already have donated items for the store to resell, and the organization maintains a list of 200 volunteers.

But ReStore will need to be staffed with at least 15 volunteers each day, so Fox Valley Habitat is always looking for helpers, especially those who can consistently offer their time, Talanda-Potts said.

Aside from raising money to construct homes in Aurora and surrounding communities, the ReStore promotes new uses for old household furnishings and appliances, Barrett said.

"The other thing this whole ReStore is about is recycling," Barrett said. "A lot of this stuff would end up in Dumpsters or in landfills, so we're really trying to be as green as possible and recycle it."

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