How Habitat For Humanity ReStores Help Alabama Residents

If you’re living in Alabama right now, it’s quite possible that you’ve been facing financial hardship in 2020. The year hasn’t been easy for anyone, the COVID-19 pandemic causing widespread illness while also triggering economic hardship. Like many southern states, Alabama in particular has struggled to contain the coronavirus. In the long term, this means that many of its estimated 4.9 million residents are dealing with issues that previously may not have troubled them in the past.

This could have you unable to take care of your basic needs, never mind ensure that your home is looking its best. But as you find yourself unable to, for example, buy new furniture or even properly furnish your home at all, it’s easy to slip into depression. You don’t need a good-looking home to live, but it can greatly affect your confidence if your house isn’t looking its best. But how do you take care of your home if you lack the financial resources?

A great option for many Alabama residents is the Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The Habitat for Humanity ReStores are independently operated reuse stores, facilitated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. ReStores can carry a wide variety of gently-used or donates appliances, furniture pieces, building materials, lighting fixtures, electrical supplies, paint, windows, and much more. Why haven’t you already visited the ReStore in the past? Well, some feel a bit of stigma surrounding reuse stores, or can’t be sure if they sell reliable products.

That’s why we’re exploring Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStores, from how you can get the most out of them as a shopper and how you may benefit them as a donor. Due to the misconceptions surrounding Habitat for Humanity ReStores, it’s important that you understand how best to use these stores as a resource. Remember: not only do these stores offer great deals for amazing products. They also benefit those being helped by Habitat for Humanity at large.

What Is The History of Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStores?

Habitat for Humanity as an organization was founded on the concept of partnership housing. Through this concept, those that lacked adequate housing would work side by side with volunteers to build homes that were well-made and affordable. There would be no profit reaped from the construction of the homes, and house payments would be made with the assistance of interest-free loans provided through The Fund for Humanity. This in turn would be sourced through donations and supporters. Over time, Habitat for Humanity grew into an international program and furthermore grew across the United States, including Alabama. Much of Habitat for Humanity’s funds are sourced through programs like the Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

As previously mentioned, Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStores, like all Habitat for Humanity ReStores, were created to be independently owned. However, many of their proceeds are used to keep Habitat for Humanity functional. Keeping in line with the mission of Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity ReStores largely sell home improvement items. They are able to significantly cut the prices of products used for everything from kitchen remodel projects to a general home refresh with a new coat of paint.

What Do Habitat For Humanity ReStores Sell?

Although we call Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStores reuse stores, not everything that they sell has actually been used. You may be able to find stone slabs, for example, that were never used as countertops or flooring because the original buyer ordered them in excess and donating the surplus to Habitat for Humanity. A lot of the products that can be found at Habitat for Humanity ReStores may have been used, but would be more in the gently-used vintage condition than the types of products that would be have been subject to hard use from previous owners.

Generally speaking, you can typically find what you need for your house at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore; and if you can’t find something during your first shopping trip, you may very well find it the second time around after a fresh donation. Sometimes, the products that you buy may be a year or two “out of season” but still very much usable. For example, you might not find the most advanced remote-operated garage doors in the world at an Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStore. But you will be able to find garage doors that are great quality, and you will probably pay significantly less for those doors at the ReStore compared to what you would pay at a mainstream retail outlet.

It’s important to note that you can also buy the practical building materials that you need at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. A lot of people try to save money by handling their own home repairs and improvements, but they lack the tools and materials that they need to execute these projects. These types of materials can be quite expensive, and buying them at full price may defeat the point of attempting to handle your building projects on your own. Therefore, if you’re interested in saving money on aluminum building products, which can often be quite expensive, you may want to visit a Habitat for Humanity ReStore instead.

What are the Benefits of Shopping at Habitat for Humanity ReStores?

Aside from the price, what are the benefits of shopping at Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStores? After all, a lot of people shop at these ReStores even though they don’t really need a great deal. Well, for one thing, you can know that you’re shopping in a way that benefits the world at large. The profits received from Habitat for Humanity ReStores go directly into aiding the international organization. If you need to buy certain products, appliances, and decor anyway, why wouldn’t you want to buy them from an organization that is doing good for people? A lot of shoppers like the idea that their dollars are going to a good cause, and it’s a great way of helping Habitat for Humanity if you don’t have the time or inclination to volunteer.

Of course, there are plenty of other benefits to shopping at a Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is that you’re also shopping sustainably. When products are donated to the ReStore, they’re avoiding the landfill. In a major sense, it’s a way of recycling. Obviously, these products can’t stay in the ReStore forever; the store needs to sell products in order to welcome in new ones. Therefore, you need to shop there in order to be a part of the recycling process.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores also often actively offer deconstruction services in certain areas. Deconstruction and salvaging are rapidly becoming some of the most exciting ways through which recycling and sustainability are being promoted. Deconstruction is the process of systematically dismantling all or a part of a house piece by piece. Due to the manner in which this is executed, very carefully rather than through a typical demolition process, those pieces are salvageable. These can then be sold at the ReStore. Habitat for Humanity is already offering these services, benefitting the community by giving the option of deconstruction versus demolition. But it’s also furthering the recycling process. Rather than simply throwing away those window shutters or other products secured during deconstruction, they can place them on the market and use the resulting funds to grow Habitat for Humanity’s resources further.

What Can I Donate to Habitat For Humanity?

You may be more interested in how you can buy from Habitat for Humanity; donating products yourself may have a broader appeal. But understanding what you can donate is not as simple as visiting an Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStore and figuring out what is on their shelves. You may actually want to call your local ReStore and see what they need most right now. Furthermore, you shouldn’t assume that because you think a product is good, the ReStore will take it. ReStores do have certain standards regarding quality, and many of their products are donated by vendors. Therefore, if you’re donating as an individual, you should do some research and consider products carefully before deciding to donate them.

As previously mentioned, you may want to consider donating gently used goods. Don’t think of Habitat for Humanity ReStores in the same way that you would think of more general reuse stores. Things like toys and clothes won’t offer much benefit to the store. Furthermore, before donating an appliance you should think about the specific type of appliance you’re thinking of donating. If an appliance is older, it may not have many use years left in it. Look into whether or not the store you’re interested in donating to refurbishes older appliances; then, it might be a better option. If an appliance is too difficult to truly clean and sanitize, like some older fridge freezers, it might not be worth donating.

While ReStores certainly accept more worn pieces of furniture, you probably shouldn’t donate anything that is threadbare. You should probably have a piece cleaned before you donate it, or at least pass over it with cleaner yourself. Making these efforts will add to your donation, and make it easier for those working and volunteering at the ReStore. Consider too what you would want if you were shopping through the ReStore yourself.

Of course, you can also donate brand new items that you buy fresh for the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you’re a business owner, you may want to donate the types of products that you work with. Should you own an HVAC installation company, you may want to donate air conditioning systems to your Habitat for Humanity ReStore. These types of “big ticket” items are quite often donating by such benefactors.

How Do I Donate Products To Habitat For Humanity?

The first thing you should do, obviously, is find an Alabama Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you. You should then contact the store to let them know that you have items available for you to donate. You would then determine the best way for you to donate these items. While a lot of people bring products directly to the ReStores to drop them off, this is not always possible. This is why some ReStores offer pickup services, wherein they will drive directly to your house in order to pick up the products, especially larger products like quartz countertops, from you. Again, this will depend on whether or not the stores around you offer these types of services.

Keep in mind that you can donate to Habitat for Humanity in more ways than just the donation of products. You can also donate money to the organization, and donate your time as well. Volunteers are relied upon for the building of Habitat for Humanity homes, but you can volunteer at a ReStore as well. At the ReStore, you can volunteer through merchandising and the creating of decorative displays; you can also stock store shelves, provide customer service, price inventory, unload trucks, organize the store and warehouse, and work as a sales floor associate. The stores rely on people to organize everything from professional cast iron cookware to building tools. Even if you don’t have products or money to donate, giving the stores your time can be hugely beneficial.

You can find your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore by visiting the ReStore’s website and entering your zip code in a search bar. There are multiple ReStore locations across Alabama, serving the local community while also the global citizens that benefit from Habitat for Humanity’s services. Opelika, Mobile, and Decatur are just some of Alabama cities that feature ReStores.

Habitat for Humanity benefits people directly by providing housing, while also benefiting those that need to buy great home improvement products affordably. Even those that need to donate products benefit, as they’re recycling rather than simply throwing their belongings away. No matter what category you fall into, consider working with your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It could improve not only your life but the lives of others as well.

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