Habitat for Humanity re-images its ReStore to further Berks' redevelopment

Habitat for Humanity of Berks County, founded in 1988, is among the major housing leaders in Berks County for neighborhood revitalization, providing affordable housing and homeownership opportunities for its client families.

One of the prime sources of funding for Habitat’s mission is through its retail store, aptly named the Berks ReStore, for its sale of gently used furniture, building supplies, appliances, crafts, books and collectibles. The ReStore is located in the Walmart shopping center, 5370 Allentown Pike, Temple, Pa.

The ReStore has gone through an amazing transformation that its customers are certain to appreciate. Immediately noticeable is the store’s bright, refreshed appearance inside and out, with neat, clearly labeled displays, allowing for shoppers to navigate the store and easily find what they’re looking for. New store departments have also been added, such as “Grandma’s Attic,” a quaint “store within a store” that offers shoppers a one-of-a-kind, eclectic selection of collectibles and craft items. Another new addition is the Service Center that educates shoppers about the Habitat for Humanity mission and how dollars spent at the store are used to help others. The ReStore has always been known as a fun place to find something unique but that shopping experience has now grown to a whole new level.

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“We’re very excited to show Berks County residents how the ReStore has evolved,” says Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director, Tim Daley. “In realizing the potential for the ReStore concept, our plan was to expand the store’s customer base by reimaging the store with a goal of further increasing revenue for community development. There’s no doubt that our customers will continue to find incredible bargains at the ReStore, but with the store’s refreshed look, the upgraded selection of merchandise and our staff’s culture focused around a totally fun shopping experience, we expect to see many new faces discovering what the ReStore is all about.”

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the ReStore 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 23 and grand reopening sale held Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, Aug. 3.

The ReStore is also an invaluable resource for people that have items in good condition that they no longer want. Gently used furniture, appliances, collectibles, books and other household items are all welcomed donations at the ReStore, and donors receive a tax deductible receipt for their kind gifts. Items may be dropped off at the rear entrance of the ReStore during regular store hours or scheduled for pick-up.

Patronizing the ReStore, by either shopping there or making a tax deductible donation, helps the Berks community immensely. Store revenue supports Habitat for Humanity’s redevelopment projects, most recently, a four-property acquisition located at 4th and Elm Streets in downtown Reading. These homes will be renovated and sold to deserving families that qualify under Habitat for Humanity’s guidelines.

Habitat for Humanity of Berks County is a 501 ( c )(3) charitable organization which exists to create affordable homeownership opportunities with and for low-to-moderate income families. Families who purchase Habitat for Humanity homes must first volunteer 400 hours, which include construction labor and financial education classes as a contribution we call “sweat equity.” Homes are sold to families at no profit and are financed by Habitat for Humanity of Berks County with zero-interest mortgages. The payments made by families on their mortgages are then used to build more homes in the community. We rely on volunteers and families’ sweat equity hours for the “un-skilled” labor needed to build the homes. Working I this way, we believe we provide families a “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out”, while also providing volunteer opportunities that allow people to assist hard-working families in our community. Habitat for Humanity of Berks County’s currently sees its bigger mission to help the City of Reading’s recovery by partnering with Our City Reading (OCR), Reading Redevelopment Authority, Reading Housing Authority and the City of Reading. HFHBC’s 20/20 vision includes renovating 30 – 35 additional homes by 2020 and expanding our impact to grow to meet the needs of the City of Reading by impacting families and neighborhoods.

From Habitat for Humanity of Berks County