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Habitat ReStore a way to ‘engage in the community’


By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

  Drew Meyer gets visibly excited when he talks about the half dozen high-value oriental rugs that recently arrived at his store in McDonough. But what excites him even more is the opportunity to use those rugs to help his community.

Drew Meyer, senior director of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in McDonough, displays one of several watercolor pieces at the store by western artist Phil Tyler. The art is part of a large donation that was recently made to the store.
                                    Photo by Jason A. Smith

  “Some have been valued at $5,000 to $10,000,”said Meyer, senior director at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. He said the ReStore recently received the imported rugs, as well as 15 original watercolor pieces by renowned western artist Phil Tyler, as a donation to support Habitat’s mission of helping families in need.

  Meyer is offering the items – which were donated from an unnamed corporation in downtown Atlanta – for half their value, or perhaps even less.

  The rugs are among the latest examples of the treasures one can find hidden away at the ReStore, located at 1465 Ga. Highway 20 West. Meyer said patrons are discovering that the nonprofit ReStore is a hidden treasure in itself, with a mixture of new and “gently-used” appliances, furniture, home décor items and building supplies.

  “The inventory changes daily, so as a shopper, you never know what’s going to be there unless you shop,” he said. “We like to say it’s a treasure hunter’s paradise.”

  Habitat opened the 19,000 square-foot Restore in McDonough in December. Currently, there are 850 ReStore locations across the country and more than 30 in Georgia.

  “We call ourselves the face of Habitat in the community,” said Meyer. “It gives us a chance to talk about what we do, and build awareness.”

  Items at the ReStore are donated by individuals, corporations, wholesalers and retailers. Proceeds from the sale of those items go toward building homes for families in need.

  Meyer said without donations, the store wouldn’t exist, but that the ReStore represents a “virtuous circle” of building homes and hope.

  “The donor gets a tax deduction the customer gets a great bargain, and the funds we raise go right back into the community changing lives,” he said. “It’s a way that you can engage in the community. You can build a home without lifting a hammer.”

  Meyer said the ReStore has enjoyed a broad base of customers since opening in Henry County.

  “We’ve got the do-it-yourselfers, then you’ve got small contractors, you’ve got families that are remodeling their homes, college kids that are buying furniture going back to school,” he said.

  In addition to shopping and donating items, Meyer said area residents support the Habitat mission at the ReStore by volunteering there.

  “It’s all built on the shoulders of volunteers,” he said. “Volunteers make a huge difference in our ministry.”

  Meyer said environmental concerns also play a part in the ReStore’s success, as staff members employ the motto of “re-use, recycle, repurpose.”

  “We keep thousands of pounds of items out of landfills, so there’s a green aspect to what we do as well,” he said.

  Jason Floyd splits his time between working as a manager at the ReStore and acting as a local minister. He said he sees the store as a ministry that helps to funnel money back into Habitat’s mission.

  “Just the fact that we can give people a hand up, as opposed to a hand out, is really exciting,” said Floyd. “It’s really awesome to see the way the community supports us by giving donations, and also shopping here at the store. It really means a lot.”

  For more information on the McDonough ReStore, call 678-782-5111.



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