Find more at the ReStore

Posted on July 7, 2011


Habitat for Humanity finds strength in numbers as it expands outlets in Chicago area.

About a year ago, I visited a ReStore in Elgin, Illinois. The unassuming 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse held everything a do-it-yourselfer could want, at rock-bottom prices. From cabinets to 2-by-4s, screen doors to chandeliers, toilets to kitchen sinks.

ReStore offers good merchandise, and an even better purpose. Inspired by Habitat’s mission, and sustained by cooperation.

ReStore opens new doors

Here’s how it works: Businesses and people donate surplus building materials or gently used home goods. Habitat sells these items to the general public at 50% – 70% savings.

You'll find this tub and more at ReStore DuPage in Addison, open on July 23.

The proceeds help Habitat provide decent housing.  So, by donating that perfectly good refrigerator or buying new tile at ReStore, you’re helping others in your community.

ReStore helps Habitat reach new volunteers. Some folks are more comfortable working a cash register than swinging a hammer. And it can help introduce shoppers to Habitat’s mission.

Shopping at ReStore is also greener. So far, ReStore Elgin has saved 3,000 tons of material from going to the landfill. With more than 700 ReStore locations, Habitat is reducing waste throughout the U.S and Canada.

Cooperation fuels ReStore growth in Chicago

When I visited the ReStore, DuPage Habitat for Humanity was working to launch a new outlet. It was one of three new locations, doubling the number of ReStore locations in Chicagoland.

I asked if they thought expansion would create competition among stores. No, in fact they are confident that more outlets will benefit them all. Habitat expects expansion will:

  • Build brand awareness – More signs, trucks and outlets will help people recognize ReStore.
  • Improve inventory management – If the Elgin location can’t accept any more stoves, maybe DuPage can.  Didn’t see the lamp you wanted in Fox Valley? Try Will County.
  • Combine resources and strengths – By banding together, Habitat affiliates become a stronger partner for large companies.

I hope this cooperative spirit will bring success. The Tellabs Foundation is pleased to support ReStore DuPage, which will hold its grand opening on Saturday, July 23.