Guest Blogger: Dave McKechnie of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles ReStores
Working for Habitat for Humanity has its advantages.
When you first tell someone that you work for Habitat for Humanity, they smile. It’s one of the only jobs I’ve ever had where people say “what a great job that must be” or “that must be an incredible place to work.”
Normally they have a general idea of what we do here at Habitat in regards to the homebuilding and volunteer side of our business, but when we tell them the particulars about our ReStores we always get the same two responses.
1. What a great idea, I didn’t know Habitat for Humanity had stores!
2. Where are they and where do you get donations?
Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles operates two ReStores here in the Los Angeles area. They are “Home Improvement Thrift Stores” that sell new and gently used home improvement items; items such as Furniture, Windows, Doors, Appliances, Light Fixtures, Sinks, Vanities, Tile, Flooring, Carpet, House wares and Home Décor items and much, much more.
Inevitably the 3rd question is “So where do you get all of the items that you sell? The short answer is “it’s donated.” The whole answer is a little more complex than what you might think.
We get donations from all kinds of donors. Individuals remodeling their homes; businesses that are moving, downsizing, or just cleaning out old space; and we get a great deal of material from deconstruction. Here at Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles we have partnered with Deconstruction & Reuse Network (DRN) to assist us in the world of deconstruction.
Even in this tougher economy there are still building projects going on. In many instances in order to build something new, something old has to be removed. The conventional thought used to be, just tear it down and throw it away…but what a waste of perfectly good stuff!!! So somewhere along the line someone got the brilliant idea of taking those buildings apart and reusing the materials again. The deconstruction process is just exactly what it sounds like. Any structure can be deconstructed and so many of the materials can be reused.
DRN is Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles’ number one partner-supplier of deconstructed material. DRN has contributed more than a million pounds of donated material to us, which in turn has been sold to our consumers, which helps to fund all of our programs here at Habitat for Humanity.
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