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Shop bargains and give back

Giving away unwanted items has been a long and honored tradition for people throughout Western New York. But with Habitat for Humanity ReStore, you’re going one step further — you’re helping build homes for people in need.

“We’re helping to create a world where everyone has a place to live,” said John Walzak, ReStore manager. “Instead of throwing things away, give it to us. We’ll turn around and sell it, and use that money in our homebuilding efforts.”

Every item donated is sold at a discounted price. That money is then recycled back into Habitat for Humanity and used to buy, build and fund mortgages for homes. Plus, Walzak estimates that the ReStore keeps about 600,000 to one million pounds of items out of landfills per year.

Habitat for Humanity only builds a certain number of houses each year, and four to five of those homes are funded directly by ReStore profits. Some of the money is also used to “keep the heat on” by paying the store’s electric bills through the winter months. In the summer, the store’s electricity is provided by solar panels on the roof.

“We have volunteers who work for us and a lot of our items come from suppliers in the area who have stuff that’s been sitting on their shelves for a while,” Walzak said. He pointed to a set of Angry Birds wireless speakers on the shelf. “These were selling for $30-40. We’re selling them for $10.”

ReStore features an eclectic selection, including large and small appliances, furniture, building materials, hardware, electric materials and fixtures, household accessories and dishes, plumbing supplies, windows, doors, landscaping equipment and even a few old bikes.

While landlords, home-flippers, real estate investors and do-it-yourselfers are ReStore’s main customers, Walzak also says he gets his fair share of window shoppers, antique hunters and regular folks looking for a deal. With new shipments coming in daily, shoppers are sure to find a great buy at a low price — contributing to a good cause is an added bonus.

How to shop ReStore

There are currently two ReStore locations in the Buffalo area:

  • 501 Amherst St.: Open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m.; closed Monday
  • 1675 South Park Ave.: Open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday

To donate, drop off items during business hours, or call to request pick-up at 852-6607. Note that ReStore does not accept clothing, children’s toys, mattresses, hazardous or toxic materials, broken furniture, linens, medical equipment or computers. All donations are tax-deductible.

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