Spring is just around the corner. It’s the time of year that calls for new beginnings, home improvement projects and a thorough annual spring cleaning.
This season, as you clean and declutter your home, you can help keep waste out of landfills as well as support the community by donating large or small home improvement goods to Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Each year, hundreds of tons of hard-to-dispose items are donated by individuals and companies and recycled for building projects, saved from landfills across the country.
The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati (HFHGC) ReStores not only allow local residents to purchase these goods at a fraction of the retail price, but they also provide funding for the local chapter of the international organization.
“Everything in the store funds those builds,” says Fairfield ReStore Manager Patrick Burns. “Just about all of the items in the store are donated, and all of the money that we’re making is going straight towards the [Habitat for Humanity] builds to help get folks out of poverty and able to purchase their own home.”
Habitat for Humanity builds affordable housing for low-income local residents through donations and volunteer work. Homes are then sold without profit in exchange for a down payment, labor from the owner and ongoing interest-free payments.
It’s this mission that inspired Patrick as a teen and ultimately led to him joining the organization full-time as an adult.
“I actually volunteered with Habitat back when I was in high school and participated in a service trip down to Texas,” Patrick recalls. “Then after I moved to Ohio, I wanted to find something in the non-profit world. I happened to stumble upon the HFHGC website, and they had an Assistant Manager position open. I’ve been with the company ever since and became Manager of the Fairfield store two years ago.”
The Habitat ministry in Cincinnati began in 1986 by a group of local Christians and was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Later in 2013, Cincinnati Habitat and TriState Habitat merged to form Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati.
In 2001, the first ReStore was built in Middletown, OH. According to Patrick, it has since become a primary funding source for HFHGC.
While each of the Habitat ReStores is unique, all accept new and gently used home goods such as furniture, appliances, building materials and more. According to Patrick, the most needed and successfully sold items in Butler County include furniture items like loveseats, chairs and dining room tables.
"We also sell kitchen cabinets really well, making them our number two most-sold item, followed by our flooring which is one of the few items we purchase and sell brand-new," says Patrick. “So, when people are redoing their kitchens and getting rid of old cabinets, we can take those as long as they’re not damaged or broken. I think that’s the thing that most people don’t think to donate.”
You can drop off your new or gently used home goods to donate at a ReStore location, or you can call and arrange for employees to drive to you to pick up large items. Along with home items, ReStores also accept and recycle various electronics and metals such as copper, brass, steel, aluminum and iron.
“We’ll pretty much take anything that’s metal because we can scrap it,” Patrick explains. “We take in and test appliances and we can also scrap them if needed. We actually have a company that picks up these items from our store and recycles them for us. The only things along those lines that we can’t accept are Cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors, but we’ll take computers, laptops, VCRs, DVD players, cameras, video game systems and basically any type of electronics.”
Find lists of acceptable items and more information about donations and volunteering online.
HFHGC ReStores are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Whether you’re remodeling, spring cleaning or downsizing, consider donating home goods to any of the area’s five ReStore locations to support local families and to pave the way for their future. In the process, you might also find some great deals on spruce-up items for your own home at great prices, furthering the work of the ReStore.
Habitat of Humanity of Greater Cincinnati’s ReStore. 4655 Dixie Highway, Fairfield. 513.893.1102. HabitatCincinnati.org/Restore