Local Business

Habitat ReStore to open in Woodstock

WOODSTOCK – A new ReStore in Woodstock will help Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County expand its reach.

Jerry Monica, executive director of Habitat McHenry, said the store at 2205 S. Eastwood Drive (Route 47) is tentatively scheduled to open Feb. 28. Initial store hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

He said the 15,000-square-foot site is about average size for a ReStore, although it's dwarfed by the 40,000-square-foot ReStore in Elgin, and smaller than the 24,000-square-foot site in Gurnee.

Still, he expects the store to generate between $300,000 and $400,000 in gross revenue a year.

"It's a great source of unrestricted funds (donations)," Monica said. "Federal dollars are less and less every year." Habitat McHenry received $150,000 in federal funding four years ago. The agency expects to receive $81,000 this year, he said.

"It's obvious we need to do things to be more self-sufficient and not rely on government money," Monica said

Funds raised from the ReStore will help the agency help those in need.

"We want to expand the inventory of affordable housing. Also help lower-income people with repairs," said Monica, a resident of Lake in the Hills.

Habitat McHenry's A Brush with Kindness program helped repair 12 homes when it started in 2010. Volunteers helped repair 75 homes last year, and 100 families are expected to be assisted with repairs this year.

"We're switching over to how many families we serve per year instead of how many houses we build," Monica said.

"It's not about the houses. It's about the people in the houses," he added.

Monica said the ReStore will accept donations of new and used building materials and gently used hardware, furniture and appliances from individuals, retailers and contractors. The items are sold to the general public at deeply discounted prices.

He said it's a good deal for contractors and rehabbers, who avoid dumpster fees by donating used cabinets, countertops, vanities and appliances.

"We're diverting reusable material that may have wound up in a landfill," Monica said.

Habitat offers deconstruction and donation pick-up services in the area, Once the ReStore opens, there will be a donation center available on-site taking drop-off donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday.

"You can drive right up and make a donation," Monica said. "But it has to be stuff somebody else is going to buy."

Habitat is also seeking volunteers to work at the ReStore. Monica said no experience is necessary for jobs such as cashier, customer service, scheduler, donation center worker, and driver helper. Volunteers are being accepted and trained currently for minimum four-hour shifts which will begin Feb. 28. Mark Peteler is the ReStore director.

According to Habit for Humanity, the first ReStore in the U.S. opened its doors in Austin, Texas, in 1992. At that time, the Habitat ReStores were known to sell building materials only. Today there are about 500 stores.

If you have an item to donate, want to schedule a pick-up, or volunteer at the ReStore, call 815-759-9002, or visit www.habitatmchenry.org.

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Habitat home dedication:

Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County will dedicate its 23rd Habitat home at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1600 Hillside Lane, McHenry. Homowners are the Dana Ferguson family.

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About Habitat for Humanity:

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Through the years, Habitat has helped build or repair more than 600,000 houses and served more than 3 million people around the world. For more information, visit www.habitat.org

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