WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Eva Gray-Allen qualifies as a perfect example of why Habitat for Humanity moved its ReStore to a new building on Coliseum Drive.
“The old location was behind where my grandson goes to school, but I never made it over there,” said Gray-Allen, who checked out the new ReStore’s offerings at the store’s grand opening on Saturday.
The old store was on Witt Street, a small street off Knollwood Street, and for many people, it was difficult to find. The building was also dark and somewhat difficult to get around in.
Dwayne Thompson, the director of ReStore operations, said that the new store is about the same size as the previous location but has better lighting and is more open. It also has a drive-up area for dropping off donations or picking up large items that were purchased in the store.
“This is the nicest ReStore you’ll see,” Thompson said Saturday during the grand opening.
The new store at 608 Coliseum Drive cost $2.5 million and has about 23,000 square feet. Thompson said that the new building is customer-friendly and has a much higher visibility.
“They can see us,” Thompson said. “To get this location was a godsend.”
He said that he talked with people in the community, and many of them did not know that there was a ReStore or where it was located.
“This location will help us get the word out about the ReStore,” Thompson said.
Creating a better shopping experience is important to ReStore officials.
“The ReStore is a proven business model for Habitat,” said Sylvia Oberle, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County.
She said that officials decided that it was time to build a new store and raised the money for the new store.
“We wanted to create a bright, open place that is good for shopping,” she said. “All the money that’s made goes to serve families.”
Habitat for Humanity works with families to help them achieve homeownership. The houses are built by volunteers and the families work 200 to 400 hours on the house to accrue sweat equity in the house. In addition, the family has interest free mortgage payments that go back into Habitat to help build additional houses.
ReStore is diagonally across University Parkway from Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and Oberle said that Habitat officials and Goodwill officials have talked about having joint donation drives. She said they are already swapping some types of donations.
“If we get clothes or something that we don’t sell, we give it to them,” Oberle said. “If they get a major appliance or something they don’t sell they send it to us. “We are also talking with Red Cross officials about donation drives with them as well.”
Want to Help?
Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is actively looking for volunteers. About 75 percent of the people working at the store are volunteers. Volunteer jobs include helping with moving and preparing donations, assisting customers or door greeters. Also, volunteers may go out to help pick up donations.
Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and must be able to lift at least 30 pounds.
Volunteers who are 14-15 need a parent or guardian with them while they volunteer. Groups and individuals are welcome to volunteer.
For more information about volunteering at ReStore, visit https://www.habitatforsyth.org and click on the ReStore link.
Want to Shop?
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (336) 893-8495.
Article originally published on Fox 8.