Christmas Day may have come and gone, but the Christmas spirit of giving can live within us throughout the year. This past autumn, our Sisters donated furniture to the Habitat ReStore of Ulster County, NY.
Habitat ReStores are discount furniture and home improvement stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity nonprofit organizations. The stores accept high-quality and gently used household items from individuals and organizations interested in donating for the purpose of recycling and reuse. So, when we realized that we no longer had a need for some of the furnishings at our Villa St. Dominic in Glasco, NY, we decided to gift them to Habitat. Local families in need would then be able to purchase its beautiful furniture at a fraction of its worth at the Ulster County Habitat ReStore. The Villa had once hosted retreats and spirituality programs for the local residents, so it seemed fitting for the house to give back to the community in this way.
Sister Margaret Tierman and Sister Margo Saich contacted Christine Brady Lavalle, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity for Ulster County, to arrange the donation. Ms. Brady Lavalle visited Villa St. Dominic and tagged the items she felt the store could resell. There was enough furniture to load up more than one truck, and it took two separate trips to empty the house!
How do Habitat ReStores work? Furniture, home goods, and home building materials are donated, priced at bargain prices, and then displayed in the store for shoppers to purchase. The profits from the sales help fund Habitat for Humanity's mission—to put God's love into action. Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
Not only do Habitat ReStore volunteer salespeople sell the inventory, but they also make valuable connections within the community. They help Habitat for Humanity find families who need a new affordable home or need an existing home rehabilitated and safely renovated.
"One good cause feeds another good cause. I love going there. Some of the furniture here at Dominican Convent was purchased there," said Sister Margo Saich.
ReStore will take in lawn and garden items, lighting and electrical fixtures, artwork, and appliances. The website has a complete list of items they will accept for donation and information on how to donate, ways to volunteer, and how to find locations of Habitat ReStores by zip code.
Whether it be the continuing giving spirit of Christmas or the need to organize in the New Year, donating to Habitat ReStores is an excellent way to give back to our community. What you or I may consider trash to throw away just may be regarded as a treasure to someone else in need!