By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Wanted: Wallpaper, carpet, sofas and the old paint cans from the back of your garage.
“We’ll take it all,” said Carol Cates, bookkeeper and volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Madison County.
This month, Habitat finalized plans to move its business offices and open a ReStore, which will sell new and gently-used home improvement goods, furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances when it’s fully operational later this summer.
Monday, Cates and Executive Director Karl Graddy supervised as a moving crew unloaded boxes at the new building, 800 E. 19th St., which used to be Everybody’s Oil Corp.
The back warehouse is full of furniture, pallets and other materials left over from Habitat’s building projects. But, “We’re definitely looking for more donations,” Cates said. “I’m hoping that this building quickly becomes too small.”
There are 825 ReStore locations in the United States and Canada, and 19 in Indiana. They sell furniture, tools and supplies for remodeling, often at 20 to 30 percent of what they’d cost new, Graddy said.
What’s more, the proceeds are pumped back into local projects, such as the 42 houses Habitat’s built in its 25 years in Madison County.
Habitat homes are typically one or two stories, between 1,100 square feet and 1,700 square feet and ranging from three to five bedrooms. In Madison County, the average home costs between $60,000 and $65,000 to build, Graddy said.
“The cost of materials are going sky-high,” he said. “This will provide Habitat for Humanity a source of revenue to continue building affordable housing for low-income families here.”
And there’s the “green” element, since the store “will reduce the items that otherwise would end up in our nearby landfills” by reselling it or reusing them instead, Graddy said.
Since 2005, Hoosier stores have diverted 5,384.6 tons of merchandise, 2,451 pounds of books, 40,022 gallons of paint, 463.7 tons of scrap metal, 114.03 tons of electronics and over 9 tons of cardboard from landfills, according to Habitat of Indiana’s website.
As it ramps up its operations over the next few months, Cates said Habitat of Madison County will need both donated goods and volunteers.
“We get phone calls all the time from people who want to donate and people who want to buy,” she said. “Now we’ll finally have a place to send them.”
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