ReStore Road Trip
Find: Twenty flatbeds of bricks
Beverly Huffman is the director of Habitat for Humanity International’s U.S. Support Center in Americus, Georgia. Before that, though, she made connections back in Illinois as the executive director of Habitat Champaign County. One of those connections recently contacted Huffman with a question: “Could any Habitat affiliates use some bricks?”
Soon, about 20 flatbed truckloads of bricks began arriving at Habitat McLean County in Bloomington. Illinois Brick Company even talked freight partners into donating the shipping. The value of the donation: $76,000.
Battle Creek, Michigan
Fact: Though the best finds are usually discovered inside a ReStore, you can sometimes spot ReStore merchandise online.
Battle Creek Area Habitat received a World War II-era knife in a box of donations last year. Known as a “Nichols Knife,” the handcrafted weapon was made for a soldier leaving for Europe. Matt Barstow, the affiliate’s ReStore director, posted the knife on eBay and started the bids at $50.
“Right away, we got an offer for $1,000 if we’d stop the bidding,” Barstow says. “We knew we had something then.” The auction rolled on for a week. A museum director eventually notched the winning bid of $3,627.
Find: Fashion inspiration
Last December, a sellout crowd of more than 800 people attended the “Hard Hats and Heels Fashion Show” at Kent State University, where students sported outfits handmade from recycled materials purchased at the Habitat Portage County ReStore.
Wallpaper, drapes, curtains and placemats transformed into dresses, skirts and shirts. Nuts, bolts, screws and lampshades became accessories like belts, hats and jewelry. The creative designers behind the inspired styles came from the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising. The Habitat connection came from Kent State’s campus chapter.