HANFORD — Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties ReStore in Hanford is helping build communities in more ways than one.
The ReStore, located at 415 W. Lacey Blvd., is essentially a home improvement thrift store, where donations of new and used items related to the home, including appliances, furniture, windows and doors, cabinets, flooring, light fixtures, ceiling fans, electrical supplies, tools and many other items are sold.
Beyond this, the ReStore is so much more.
The reason the ReStore was originally created was to fill a need that Habitat staff members saw over the course of their work, said Deanna Saldana, resource development director at Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties. Saldana said construction companies would buy more than they needed for a project and would end up throwing the material and items away in landfills.
Habitat for Humanity formed relationships with these construction companies and contractors to eliminate that practice, with the idea to resell the items and use the funds to support the organization’s mission, which includes affordable home ownership and home repair programs.
“It just kind of snowballed from there until now, with ReStores located across the United States and Canada,” Saldana said.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, Habitat saw the ReStores as an opportunity to support a mission that helps the community on so many levels.
Right now especially, Saldana said, so many people are sheltering at home and are taking the time to do remodeling projects. She said not only can they check out what restore has to offer, but at the end of the project, as long as the items are functional, they can donate leftover items and get a tax break. In turn, those perfectly good older items could be resold to someone who could reuse them.
“It’s just a win-win-win for everybody,” she said.
A lot of items, like furniture or cabinetry, don’t get worn out, they just go out of fashion, Saldana said. However, as the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and someone may see that item as a one-of-a-kind find that they can give new life to through repurposing or upcycling.
“You can find some really unique items,” Saldana said.
Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County — before it officially incorporated Kings County into its service area in 2016 — opened its first ReStore in Visalia in 2004 and that location continues to grow, Saldana said.
The organization believed so strongly in the ReStore and its mission that it decided to open the Hanford location in 2018, Saldana said. While many people may not know about it yet, she said the ReStore is truly a gem that helps the community in many ways.
Undoubtedly the pandemic has impacted the business like many others, but Saldana said the ReStore is also an important place where the community can learn about Habitat for Humanity and get involved in its efforts.
“Once you realize that it’s there and what it has to offer, you can discover all kinds of opportunities,” she said.
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