Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlet opens in Carbondale
November 19, 2007
CARBONDALE ” For residents of the Roaring Fork Valley, a way to construct and furnish homes ” with a bit of social conscience ” has arrived.
Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses around the world for those in need, recently opened a ReStore in Carbondale. From bags of bolts, to designer couches, an ever-changing array of “gently used” building materials and accessories is available at discount prices.
Gina Mead, volunteer and communications coordinator for Habitat’s Roaring Fork Valley chapter, sees the store as an integral part of the cycle of building and rebuilding. “We kind of fill a need in the area,” she said.
Recently, Sky Hotel in Aspen and Hotel Aspen, which are in the midst of remodeling projects, donated high-end furnishings they no longer need. In one night, the ReStore sold $5,000 worth of televisions that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. The hotels didn’t have to pay the throw the items away, Habitat for Humanity earned money and consumers got a deal.
To Mead, what keeps up this momentum is Habitat’s good reputation around the world.
“We’re just floored at how the community is really coming together to help, and to ultimately help the families we’re building with,” she said.
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She said she’s seen the organization’s positive affect on those it touches. She mentioned the Edwards family, who will move into a duplex being built in Rifle next year. She remembers Scott Edwards, who’s now confined to a wheelchair, who said he was so excited to live somewhere with enough space for him to tuck in his children at night.
Like most families involved with Habitat, “They’re not looking for extravagance,” she said. “They’re looking for decent, affordable homes.”
What many people might not know, she added, is that no one who participates gets a “free ride.” After going through a selection process, each adult in the family is required to contribute hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” into the actual building of the house, and in order to own it, they must pay a low downpayment each month,
She feels there is just something special about Habitat that people understand and want to support. It’s what moved a man to call her office and ask how he could he could help, even though he was going through detox. It’s what persuaded a woman, too sick to work a conventional job, to inquire if there was anything she could contribute. And it’s what made Mead herself, a mother of two, join Habitat in August, after a career in public relations for private companies.
“You get to a place in life where you realize you have a chance to make a difference, be it a big one or a small one,” she said. “Being able to help someone else, ironically, helps you.”
Perhaps it’s that power ” combined with the quest for bargains ” that fuels hundreds of Restore outlets in the United States, Canada and, now, Carbondale.
The ReStore, at Unit L1 at Carbondale Mini Storage, 1676 Country Road, is tentatively open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. To verify store hours, call 945-7733.
To find out how to volunteer, apply for home or apply for the manager position at Habitat for Humanity in the Roaring Fork Valley, call or visit http://www.habitatroaringfork.com.