Help yourself, help your community

ReStore reopens, raises money for Habitat for Humanity

Nancy Zoellner
Special to the Lake Sun, USA TODAY NETWORK
The Habitat ReStore offers a variety of home goods and furniture.
A wide selection of appliances and construction materials are available at the ReStore.

Before heading to your favorite home improvement store to get supplies for your remodeling or home improvement project, you might want to stop by the Habitat ReStore in Camdenton.

The store, located at 308 Keystone Industrial Park Drive just 3 miles south of the square in Camdenton, will reopen July 13 – and, according to store manager Anne Elliott, it is full to overflowing with construction materials – doors, windows, countertops, cabinets, appliances, furniture, tools – and much, much more.

“We were closed for the past nine weeks to do some remodeling and reorganizing. We did some layout changes and cleared out some things that had been sitting for a while to get the most out of the facility’s floor space. I just started a week ago, but I was told that while we were closed – and not making sales – people continued to donate so, as you can imagine, we are full. And that means we have a huge selection! I previously worked at a thrift shop, so I’m used to donations coming in but wow – I’m not used to getting whole households,” she laughed. “But it’s wonderful and it’s what keeps us in business.”

In addition to needing shoppers, the ReStore, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, also needs volunteers - church groups, civic organizations, or individuals - to sort, price and display the donated items, as well as assist customers. Elliott said she also hopes to have enough people so she can have someone as the register to assist the checkout person. “I’ve talked to a few people and the one thing they always say is how much fun they have volunteering and shopping here and how much they look forward to seeing each other.”

She said volunteers can work as much or as little as their schedule allows – there is no minimum required, no experience is required and there’s a job for every age group. A side benefit is that volunteers get to see the items as they come in – and they can purchase those items.

Proceeds from the sale of the donated items is used to offset operating costs but they are also used to support the Habitat for Humanity home-building project, which helps low-income families achieve their dream of home ownership. Volunteer workers, along with the family that will own the home once it’s completed, handle the construction. Individual donors, business and corporate sponsors, churches and social and community organizations partner to provide a portion of the funds or materials needed to build the homes.

The building team, which consists of nine volunteers, is currently constructing House #22, which should be completed in September. Habitat could also use help from individuals or even construction companies to help construct the homes.

According to Steve Fuhrer, the Lake of the Ozarks Habitat for Humanity construction manager, although it’s hard work to build a house and everyone goes home tired at the end of the day, “it’s very fulfilling to hand over the keys to the family, knowing you have been a part of providing them with a safe place to live.” He said ReStore volunteers also find it rewarding to be involved in giving to the community. “It’s really a great organization with a great purpose.”

If you would like more information on volunteering in the store or on the construction team, call 573-317-0470.

And if you would like more information on how to be considered for home ownership, two meetings will be held this summer. The first is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 4 and the second will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 7. Both meetings will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church, located at 442 East Highway 54 in Camdenton.

Each applicant must meet certain requirements in order to receive a pre-screen application. Those qualifications include, but are not limited to, the applicant’s level of need, their willingness to partner with Habitat in the construction process, and their ability to repay a zero-interest mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

During the meetings, those requirements and the application process will be explained.