Home improvement items resold at ReStore


HAGERSTOWN -- Her house burned last Valentine's Day.

Since then, Eunice McCaw has been staying with her daughter and working out the details of repairs with her insurance company. She hopes to move back into her home of more than 45 years before Christmas.

Meanwhile, she is doing what she can to prepare for the move, purchasing replacement items as she is able.

"I lost a lot of stuff," said McCaw, 78.

Just down the street from her boarded-up home is a new home improvement store that could make replacing that stuff a lot more affordable.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington County on Saturday celebrated the grand opening of ReStore on Charles Street. ReStore accepts donations of new or used building materials, furniture and appliances, and resells them to the public at a substantially reduced cost. The store opened six weeks ago, training volunteers before its grand opening.


McCaw said she has picked up a number of items for her home at the store in recent weeks, including an ironing board, a curtain rod and nails.

"I'm over here just about every day," she said. "I think it's nice. There are a lot of things and they are not expensive."

Following the grand opening celebration, McCaw purchased a hutch for her dining room.

ReStore Manager Ken Welch said the Charles Street ReStore is one of abut 600 such outlets in the world managed by Habitat for Humanity.

Welch said one of the goals of the ReStore project is to provide affordable home improvement materials. In addition, Habitat hopes people will donate to the store, thereby reducing the number of used items going to the landfill. Another goal is to support the operation and productivity of Habitat for Humanity. All proceeds from the store will fund the group's efforts to build simple, decent, affordable housing in Washington County.

"An average ReStore in a market this size can generate up to a quarter of a million dollars," Welch said. "That kind of revenue could allow Habitat for Humanity to offer new opportunities for our community."

"This is a very exciting, happy day," said Sherry Brown Cooper, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County. "It makes you feel full inside. Now, I can check off one of my visions and move on to the next vision."

Cooper said her next vision is a to create a village of nice, affordable homes in Washington County. She envisions a village of 10 to 25 houses with open air, a playground and a homeowners' association that would be responsible for preserving the condition of the homes.

"It would be a place where entry-level (workers) and service people could live in affordable homes and their children could have stability," Cooper said. "Somebody with a lot of land could really leave a legacy. They could call it whatever they want."

The Zion Baptist Church adult choir sang during the outdoor celebration. More than 200 people were on hand for the ribbon cutting.

State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said he hoped the store would bring some economic development to its neighborhood.

"This kind of activity really enhances Hagerstown. It can do nothing but bring it up," Munson said. "It allows people an opportunity to buy reasonably inexpensive items to refurbish their homes, and it raises some money to build homes for people who need homes. It's a great day."

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