Habitat for Humanity ReStore celebrating anniversary

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Jason Floyd, manager of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in McDonough, says one reason the facility has flourished over the last two years is a focus on meeting people’s needs with compassion.

L. to r.: John Barnes, warehouse manager,; Jason Floyd, store manager; Gwen Peacock, cashier; Cora Brown, customer service coordinator; Donnie Monk, assistant manager; and Drew Meyer, senior director. Photo by Jason A. Smith

“You never know what people are going through when they walk through your door,” he says. “So it’s important to us -- it’s part of our mission at Habitat -- to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. In order for us to do that, you’ve got to show yourself friendly, and you’ve got to show that you genuinely care about them.”

The ReStore, at 1465 Ga. Highway 20 West in McDonough will host what is being dubbed a “Re-Grand Opening” Jan. 23 from 10 a.m., to 6 p.m., to celebrate its second anniversary. The event will feature a festive environment with food, prizes and discounts on various items.

“We’ll have a host of new merchandise that customers haven’t seen yet,” says Floyd. “We’ve been creating a little bit of a buzz by displaying some of those items.”

The ReStore offers new and gently-used furniture, home décor and building supplies, all of which are obtained through donations from individuals and businesses. Floyd says one of the reasons the store has been successful for the last two years is its focus on customer service.

“Most of the items that we sell, we start off pricing at 50 to 75 percent of the retail value,” says Floyd. We’ll have a ton of new lighting, we have some new furniture, we’ll have power tools, brand-new tile, and brand-new hardwood flooring. Our goal is to create an experience, not just for our customers, but also for our volunteers and our donors – an experience that is consistent with the Habit mission, but also an experience that drives people back into this ReStore and other ReStores because of the great time they’ve had here,” says Floyd.

Floyd says he is grateful to his customers for their ongoing support of the store, and for helping to spread the word to others in the area.

“Their patronizing of the ReStore – whether it’s volunteering their time, donating their items or coming in here to shop – has really helped us be a great asset to the community,” he says. “The donations of the community and businesses in the community are really the lifeblood of our business and why we are able to do what we do. We would love for the community to continue to embrace us and continue to donate on a regular basis, so that we can continue to be a great help to the community.”

Drew Meyer, senior director of ReStore Operating Group in Atlanta, says the Re-Grand Opening is a way to celebrate the public’s support of the Habitat mission, and to welcome others to the store for the first time. He credits employees and volunteers for helping to ensure its success over the last two years.

“The ReStore is a wonderful place to find items to repurpose, refurbish, upcycle and let your creativity run wild,” he says. “If you look at sales, there’s 860 ReStores across this country, and this store, because of Jason and his team, we’re in the top 10 percent,” says Meyer. “I think Jason and his team really demonstrate world-class service. They have a real, genuine concern for satisfying the customers, and I think it’s that commitment to serving the customers and meeting their needs and answering their questions and doing everything we can to make sure they enjoy this shopping experience … The whole culture or concept of service exists within our Habitat mission and what we do by serving families, and I think the store does the same thing at a very high level and very consistently.”

Meyer says because there is no standing inventory at the ReStore, there’s always something new to catch a person’s eye. This, he says, helps Habitat to reach a broader range of customers, including “treasure hunters,” do-it-yourselfers and others who enjoy recycling and repurposing various items.

“You’ve got a really unique blend of inventory, great prices and great people that are serving the customer,” says Meyer. “It’s a donation-driven model, so everything that we sell is donated, and we’re picking up daily. That’s part of the fun and what attracts people, is the inventory changes daily. So, they never know what they might find, but they know they’re going to find something at a bargain. Jason and his team do a really nice job of -- when things come in -- cleaning them and repairing them. Whether it’s a couch or it’s a door or whatever it is, you’re going to find something that can be reused, and you’ll find it at a great price.”

Funds raised through the ReStores go toward helping families in need, both locally and and worldwide. Meyer says this year, Habitat for Humanity will be able to serve 75 families in the Southern Crescent area by rehabilitating homes, painting exteriors, landscaping and critical home repair.

“The proceeds from here go directly into that work,” he says. “That’s obviously one of the reasons Jason and his team provide that excellent level of service, and why we’re always out picking up quality items, because the more funding and the more sales we have in the store, the more we can give back to the work that we do.”

The ReStore’s mission, adds Meyer, goes far beyond selling items at a discount. He says the ministry is evolving to meet the changing needs of families and the community as a whole, both now and in the future.

“It’s like putting a pebble in a pond,” he says. “You can really change the cycle of poverty in one generation. The families that we serve, the impact it has on them is multi-generational. I mean, Habitat is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and the number of families we’ve served -- thanks to our donors and our volunteers -- the number grows exponentially. But with that, every family is special. There are so many amazing stories. If you study the impact that housing has on a family, it’s so dramatic because you give the family security. You give them an environment where they feel comfortable to learn and study.”