Habitat for Humanity has been building affordable homes around the world since 1976. To help fund these projects, hundreds of ReStores were started all across the country. Within the next few months, one of those non-profit home improvement stores will be opening in Utica. YNN's Cara Thomas tells us what the community can do to help this initiative succeed.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Renovations are underway at the old McHarris Gifts Outlet Store on Seward Avenue in Utica.
Volunteers are turning this old building into a new Habitat for Humanity revenue source called a ReStore, a non-profit home improvement store.
"We're furbishing the building, we're trying to get it painted and closed up and then what we're doing is we're putting these shelving units together, trying to get them organized. There's a lot of work to be done so we're certainly looking for volunteers to help us," said Rob Willson, the ReStore's Manager.
ReStore leaders said they expect to need at least 40 volunteers to run the store. They will be selling new and gently used appliances, furniture, plumbing, electric hardware, and building materials all at a lower cost.
Willson said, "This is a steel door that was donated, and they normally sell for about $100, we'll be selling something like this for about $40."
The revenue made through the ReStore will help fund Oneida County Habitat for Humanity's building and renovation projects. Organization leaders said this extra financial assistance is going to make a huge difference.
Executive Director of Oneida County Habitat for Humanity, Louis LaBella, said, "This will create sustainability by generating the sales, we'll be able to double or triple production in our new housing and renovations as well as our programs to improve existing homeowners homes here in Oneida County."
To keep this initiative alive, they're going to need the community's support.
Willson said, "There's three key items that will help the ReStore be successful and that is to donate the material, to shop the store when we're open and to volunteer."
And with their help, the ReStore can be another step toward restoring Oneida County.
There are Habitat garage sale items currently for sale in the back of the ReStore as a way to continually bring in revenue for Habitat for Humanity's building projects.
The store is expected to officially open by mid-February.