Berkshire Bankers Help the ReStore Get Ready for Its EcoFair;
Columbia County Berkshire Bank employees regularly volunteer at Habitat’s ReStore.
ReStore’s EcoFair on Saturday, April 23: Making It Easier To Be Green
Columbia County Habitat’s ReStore will host an EcoFair on Saturday, April 23 to support National Earth Week, April 17 to 24 and Earth Day, April 22. Taking place in and outside the ReStore from 10 to 4, the Fair will feature eco-friendly vendors – local green companies and environmental organizations – with the latest and greatest ways to be green. The celebration will also include sweet treats and wonderful music all day. The ReStore is located at 829 Route 66 near the Route 9H intersection.
“We want to help make it easier for our customers to be green,’” ReStore Manager Marcia Witte says. “In support of the International Earth Day Network’s ‘Trees for the Earth’ campaign, we’ll be raffling bare root tree packs from the Columbia County Soil and Water District. The tree program’s goal is to plant 7.8 billion trees by Earth Day 2020 – one for every person on the planet.”
EcoFair participants include: the Columbia County-based businesses Minding Your Manor, whose owner, Julie Ulmer, is an expert in organizing and decluttering homes, and Certified Document Security, which will offer paper shredding. EcoFairgoers may leave up to 3 bags for free shredding. Additional bags will be accepted with a donation in any amount to Habitat.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will share the benefits and ease of composting and the joys of using native plants. They’ll also test pH levels for visitors who bring soil samples. The Cooperative Extension’s Community and Economic Vitality representative will present “Let There Be Light,” a guide to choosing the right energy-efficient bulbs for different areas in the home. The Fair will also feature local vendors selling produce and green products, including goat’s soap and cutting boards from the Kerlie Homestead Farm in Red Hook.
Music for the event will be provided by local artists Abby Lappen, who will entertain EcoFair visitors from 10 to 1, and last year’s hit, the Sweet Life Music Collective, performing from 1 to 4.
Shoppers Check Out Newly Expanded & ReDesigned ReStore at Preview
Photos by Don Moore
Habitat Launches Re-Imagined ReStore with 4-Day Celebration January 13-16
Columbia County Habitat for Humanity will mark the official opening of its re-imagined ReStore, expanded and redesigned to offer customers a completely new shopping experience, with four days of special events on January 13 to 16 at 829 Route 66 at 9H in Hudson. There will be a Sneak Preview on Wednesday evening, January 13 from 6 to 8, followed by demonstrations of creative home improvement projects and other festivities during regular store hours, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 to 6. Customers are also invited to attend the grand opening, sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, at 11 on Saturday, January 16.
Habitat Executive Director Brenda Adams said, “We’ve invested in the next generation of the ReStore. We’ve added 2500 sq.ft. of retail space and created a vibrant new ReStore. Better lighting, wider aisles and special display areas to showcase our exciting mix of furniture and other goods are key elements of the bigger and better ReStore.”
Marcia Witte, ReStore Manager, emphasized that the ReStore’s re-do is a direct result of customer feedback and the huge growth in the number and quality of donations from area residents and businesses. “We were really forced to expand, in terms of both hours and space, to serve our shoppers. We surveyed customers to ask what they liked best about ReStore and what they wanted. That’s why we added four hours on Thursdays to make a full shopping day, as well as shifted our hours to 10 to 6, which people said they preferred. We’ve also hired a second cashier to make shopping and check-out more pleasant and efficient.”
Two new furniture display areas are being staged by Hudson designer Michael Levinson, the first of what Adams and Witte expect will be a regular series of special rooms arranged and decorated by local designers and artists. Other features of the retail space are a new entrance that leads to the expanded check-out counter, the show rooms and the broader furniture area.
Construction work on the expansion was completed by volunteers, including veterans of Habitat home builds and students from the Germantown High School Honor Society, the Ichabod Crane High School Habitat Club and Questar, all under the supervision of Habitat’s resident construction king, John Livingston of Red Hook.
Adams and Witte also saluted the stalwart crew of ReStore volunteers, who have spent dozens of hours moving ReStore shelving and re-staging the entire sales floor. The new ReStore layout was designed by longtime Habitat friend and volunteer Timi Bates, an interior designer and Hillsdale resident.
Witte noted that the ReStore’s added shopping hours in 2015 translated into tremendous sales growth. She attributed the impressive increase to a general improvement in the quality and quantity of donations. All of the ReStore’s proceeds support Habitat construction projects.
“We now schedule donation pick-ups once a week, because so many generous people are choosing to donate fine furniture, appliances and other items that are highly saleable. And at the ReStore, shoppers know they’ll find great values on wonderful merchandise,” Witted added.
Habitat’s ReStore Offers New Hours & More Shopping Time Starting in September
Beginning Thursday, September 3rd, Columbia County Habitat’s ReStore will add four more shopping hours on Thursdays. The ReStore’s operating hours will also be shifted to serve customers better. The store will be open three full days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. To celebrate its new and expanded hours, the ReStore will welcome shoppers to its first Thursday morning with donuts, coffee and a decorative painting demonstration from 10 to 2 by Cathy Hennessy, owner of The Painted Piece in Catskill.
ReStore Manager Marcia Witte says, “Even after we added a half-day on Thursdays last summer, our customers asked us for more. The full day on Thursday and the shift to later opening and closing hours are the direct result of a survey of ReStore visitors’ shopping preferences.”
Brenda Adams, Habitat’s Executive Director, adds, “The growth of the ReStore’s sales over the past 18 months has been extraordinary. We’re gratified that more and more customers are taking advantage of the terrific bargains and wide range of merchandise they can find at the ReStore. Every purchase not only helps build affordable housing for working families; it also saves usable goods and materials from going into landfills unnecessarily.”
The Painted Piece, located at 393 Main Street in Catskill, is the area’s only source for Chalk Paint®, a premier decorative paint that Cathy will apply to a variety of pieces. She will also give away a basket of paint samples to one lucky ReStore shopper and will offer all visitors a 10% discount on their first purchases at her store.
The ReStore will continue to add four shopping hours at a time as volunteer support allows. “The ReStore, like Habitat’s construction program, depends entirely on volunteers,” Marcia points out. “Generous individuals and businesses contribute our entire inventory; volunteers pick up donations as well as clean, price and organize merchandise and the store itself – and that’s all to prepare for customer hours.”
New volunteers are always welcome! Anyone interested in helping at the ReStore should contact Marcia Witte at 518-828-0892. Savvy shoppers know that amazing bargains and special items, particularly in furniture, appear and disappear quickly, so they make frequent stops at the ReStore.
All proceeds from the ReStore support Habitat’s construction programs. Last year, more than 10,000 visitors came to the ReStore, while volunteers contributed more than 4500 hours. As a result, the ReStore generated $60,000 for Habitat’s construction of affordable housing for lower-income working families.
What is the ReStore?
Columbia County Habitat’s ReStore sells new and gently-used goods and materials that have been donated by area residents and businesses. A favorite destination for savvy shoppers, the ReStore encourages re-use and recycling while generating revenue that supports Habitat’s affordable housing construction program. The ReStore keeps usable items out of landfills and offers buyers great bargains. More than 10,000 shoppers visit our ReStore in Hudson every year.
How do I donate to the ReStore?
It’s easy! You can deliver your goods for donation directly to the ReStore Tuesdays through Saturdays. Please call ahead to check that the items you’d like to donate can be accepted and that someone will be available to assist with your delivery. For larger items that you can’t bring in, call the ReStore office to discuss your proposed donation and to schedule a date and time for our volunteers to pick up your items. We provide completed donation forms for your use in tax reporting.
What goods & materials does the ReStore accept & sell?
The ReStore is delighted to accept the following donated items for sale to our customers:
- Furniture (un-upholstered)
- Large appliances (except dishwashers) in good working condition
- Kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- New/unused building materials, lumber, insulation and supplies
- Electrical, plumbing, flooring, roofing and carpentry supplies
- Light fixtures and lamps
- Solid wooden doors and double-glazed windows
- Major tools and equipment (except automotive and non-working power tools)
- Selected housewares, including new and gently-used small appliances
In addition, the ReStore often accepts other unique items, such as the recently-donated clawfoot tub, pottery wheel, Victorian room divide and painting collection. Again, please call ahead to make sure that your proposed donation can be accepted.
What do ReStore volunteers do?
The ReStore offers a friendly, cooperative environment for both volunteers and shoppers. Volunteers keep the store stocked, clean, well-organized and functioning efficiently and professionally.
Volunteers are needed Tuesdays through Saturdays to help pick up, sort and prepare donated merchandise, price goods, re-stock and tidy shelves and stage the sales floor. During store hours, volunteers assist shoppers. Volunteers also participate in the ReStore’s social media efforts, community outreach activities and special events.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and are welcome to work on a regularly-scheduled basis, occasionally or as a one-time experience.
How do I volunteer at the ReStore?
The ReStore’s successful operations depend on our volunteers. Click here to download a Volunteer Registration Form. You can check out the many areas of ReStore operations in which volunteers contribute their support and indicate your areas of interest. Or contact Marcia Witte, our ReStore Manager, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.828.0892, Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Let us hear from you to talk about joining our growing ReStore team! The ReStore really rocks!!