Most think of their spring cleaning as merely cleaning out their closet of those unwanted sweaters not worn this past season or clearing out some old rummage collecting dust on the top shelf of the garage.
But if you donate your items to one of the three Habitat for Humanity Restore locations in Garland county, what happens to them once they’re dropped off?
Charlie Devine, Habitat for Humanity Restore director, describes the process of their store as a huge recycling project.
“They (customers) can come in there looking for almost anything and they do ask. It changes daily because there are a lot of items that are moving in every
day and a lot that are moving out every day. There is a huge turnover every day,” Devine said.
For some, shopping at the stores is an adventure, where they aren’t sure what they’re there for, but hope something will catch their eye. However, Devine said some do have their mind set when they walk in.
“They may be trying to repair something on the house. They need a door. They need a window. They need a piece of furniture. They need a specific thing, but most of the time they are walking through the store trying to find cool, interesting treasures and gifts that they can buy,” Devine said.
Donations range from household appliances, construction materials, apparel, jewelry, CDs, DVDs, to books. Some items are new such as construction materials that were never used.
“It could be someone had remodeled a house and donated new things that weren’t used. It could be a whole countertop that they took out of the house while remodeling. It could be a car, boat, any number of supplies. We also carry some new items,” Devine said.
Devine said each store processes approximately 30 tons of donations each month and their item turn-around is high. A new Habitat location is located at 2817 Airport Road. Donors can schedule a Habitat truck to pick up their items, big or small, or they can drop them off at any location and receive a receipt for a tax deduction.
“People are just very kind, good-hearted, and donate. It helps them. It helps us. And, it certainly helps the families that the homes are built for as a result of this,” Devine said.
Funds from purchases in the stores assist in the construction cost of the houses Habitat builds for community families. Habitat has built 127 homes in Garland
County and three more are in the construction process.
“In the process of building a house, we have many good-hearted people that volunteer all of their work. A lot of the work is done by volunteers and different companies volunteer their staffs. Employees come out and help and different companies volunteer supplies to go into the house. There is a hard cost that we do need to come up with and that is what the Restore helps to build. Those three Restores’ proceeds go to help build that house,” Devine said.
Devine estimated the total “hard” cost of the house with land is around $60,000. The “hard” cost, which excludes the value of volunteer work, donated items and supplies, is put into a zero percent mortgage for a family.
“They’re paying a monthly payment, no interest 20 years just on the hard cost,” Devine said.
‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ at Habitat helps keep items out of landfills, helps an item receive a new owner, and it all helps to build a new home and new life for a Garland County family.