MOREAU — Habitat for Humanity is making so much money at its ReStore in Moreau that the store now pays for nearly all the construction costs for one house.
The store opened a year ago and was immediately successful.
“The growth of the ReStore has been phenomenal. We knew we were going to be a success here in Moreau, but the response from the community has been overwhelming,” said ReStore manager Charlie Burd.
Volunteers worked for 700 hours and the store sold nearly 37,000 items in the first year, he said.
“We can very proudly say those proceeds are building our house in Lake George right now,” he added.
The goal of each ReStore is to pay for one house a year. In this area, that’s $125,000 in cash — not counting the volunteer labor and donated materials, said Adam Feldman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.
Feldman’s goal for next year is to build one house in each of his chapter’s three counties: Warren, Washington and Saratoga.
This year, the chapter began work on a house in Lake George. That house will be finished in the spring.
Next year, Feldman also wants to launch a “critical repairs” program as well: “to keep people in their affordable home,” he said.
It will be a big year for the chapter, and the money raised at the ReStore will play a critical role in making it happen.
It’s not just the funds raised at the store.
“The ReStore really puts us on the map,” Feldman said. “Now people see us every day. It provides a base in the community.”
Still, a ReStore doesn’t usually fund an entire house in its first year.
“My team is really what outperformed,” he said.
Now he’s looking for volunteers to help meet next year’s big goals.
He needs volunteers at ReStore to organize the donations by cleaning them, pricing them and placing them in the store.
He needs skilled laborers to help build the houses as well. He has many inexperienced hammer-wielders, but he needs skilled workers to guide them and handle the important jobs at the chapter’s construction sites.
“What I really need, to work more efficiently, is more skilled volunteers. If you have any carpentry skills — I need you,” he said.
That means anything from installing cabinets to building floors, he added. Retired people with carpentry experience who want to donate a few hours a week are ideal. He does not need full-time laborers.
Volunteers can email the volunteer coordinator, Kathy Keenahan, at email@example.com or call 518-793-7484.
Those who simply have stuff can help too.
The ReStore relies on donations of household furniture, building materials, lighting and appliances. It does not accept clothing. Those who wish to donate items should call 518-793-7484 ext. 21 to schedule a pick-up time, or drop off items at the store Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The chapter is also accepting applications from potential buyers of its homes. Families must have an income and need an affordable house. Need could include three or more people sharing a bedroom, substandard living conditions, or homelessness, among other characteristics.
Families interested in applying for the Habitat homeownership program can visit www.GlensFallsHabitat.org or call 518-793-7484 ext. 12 to get more information.