Habitat for Hope

Hands of Hope at Habitat
Hands of Hope at Habitat, Allegheny Valley ReStore

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Maya Angelou

Last  year, I was in need of a new kitchen table. My daughter had moved out and along with her went my table. She had loved it and I told her she could have it.

So what to do about a new one? Jim suggested IKEA and we went and looked. But frankly, pressed board and short life span was just not what I had in mind.

A few weeks passed without a table and Jim asked again. “What would you like?” he said. I answered that I wanted something used and loved, of real wood, with a patina that expressed age and good living. I said, “I’m going to google used furniture stores and see what I get.”

Legs that just don't quit!
My pine table- legs that just don’t quit!

What I found was a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Jim and I climbed into his truck soon after and pulled into the parking lot. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a pine kitchen table with gorgeous bulbous legs, sitting outside the front entrance.

Jim said “Jo, there’s your table.” (I got tears in my eyes!)

We bought it, on the spot, for a mere $75. We loaded it on the back of the truck and it’s been in my kitchen ever since. I look at it every day and still can’t believe my luck. It’s just beautiful. And, purchasing this table supported the efforts of a great cause, Habitat for Humanity’s local work to help people of low income afford a real home.

Since then, I have fallen in love with Habitat ReStores. This past spring, I met Jess, the store manager at the Habitat ReStore Allegheny Valley. The store had moved into a new location and was planning a grand opening. I offered to help (there was no keeping me away!) and she said SURE!

Last Saturday there were a few clouds in the sky but the enthusiasm of Jess and the other volunteers pushed them away. Everyone gathered by 10 am to set up popcorn, cotton candy, and game tables for the kids. The chamber of commerce was on hand to welcome everyone and the PA. State Rep., Eli Evanovich came and cut the yellow ribbon.

Very cool! Picture by Christina Otto
Picture by Christina Otto
State Rep Eli, Photo by Christina Otto
(I got a piece of this ribbon!) State Rep Eli, Photo by Christina Otto

There were gift card prizes drawn on the half hour, Snickers the Horse showed up to wave to cars and it was an atmosphere of such fun and happiness. The Hot Dog Guys food truck sold their delicious hotdogs! All for a good cause!

This photo gives me a big smile!
Snickers and the Hot Dog Guys, Jim and Paul!

If you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your area, I hope you stop in and check it out. You will be surprised at all the great goodies there and the low prices. Also, if you have furniture, housewares or construction materials you no longer want, call and ask your ReStore if you can donate them. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.

Here’s the mission statement on the homepage of the Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley. Good stuff:

Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley (HFHAV) is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate simple, decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold with no profit made and with no interest charged on the low cost mortgages.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors and foundations both private and public provide money and materials to build Habitat houses. Partner families themselves invest 350 hours of labor – “sweat equity” – into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into an escrow fund for taxes and insurance and into a revolving “Fund for Humanity” that is used to build more houses.

Congratulations go out to all those volunteers that day, Jess for her hard work and the local businesses who gave gift cards (Sheetz and Advance Auto) and donated cookies (Eat’n Park) and contributed to a fabulous day of caring and sharing!

PS. I bought a beautiful used desk for my grandson’s room. All wood, only $15!

Love this desk!
Love this desk!

A great day at Habitat for Humanity!

Join me on my graceful journey.

19 Replies to “Habitat for Hope”

  1. Joanne… I have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near me. I love shopping there. Everything is displayed so nice and awesome prices. I try to visit it about once a month. Have purchased many items from them. Donna

  2. We have a Habitat Re seller here and we go there all the time. All my laminate flooring is from there. My nephew, Michael, has volunteered for them, building houses in Kentucky every year since he was 14 (he’s now 35). Even last year 1 week after getting married, he left this new bride for a week to do that!
    Love the desk!

    1. Hi Cathy, it’s so cool that your flooring is from a ReStore. And kudos to your nephew for volunteering. I am in awe of how much the organization has accomplished through all of its volunteers. How wonderful. xo Joanne

  3. What beautiful items you found at the ReStore. I knew we had Habitat for Humanity in NZ but I didn’t know if we had ReStores. Turns out we have those, too, just not in my neigbourhood. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Joanne, you always truly inspire me!! An amazing and uplifting story, as well as inspirational. You know what you want and the Lord simply guides you to it. Wonderful stuff!!

    But you really have to read my book, I think you will enjoy it after reading this post. It’s really you. We’ll get it to you at some point.

    Love and hugs,
    Marianne xo

    1. I wish I had a Kindle. I would have done the download. I’m really not much of a computer reader so for now, I’m going to wait until you release your book in paperback or hard copy.
      Thank you as always for your support. I love to see your little teacup icon. xo

  5. Love this! I’m planning to pop in to a local Habitat soon to look for a sofa and a credenza. Also, just want to remind everyone that not all Habitat homes are built from the ground up. My Mom donated her Mom’s house to Habitat. It needed a remodel but became a beautiful home for a single mother and her two children. The donation was a tax deduction for my Mom but it was also a gift to our family. We had so many wonderful memories in that house, and now the love lives on in perpetuity. Thanks for a great post, Joanne. Hugs, Vivian

  6. Joanne, I loved this post. We have two “restores”–one in Kansas and one in Colorado–and one is Habitat and the other is Goodwill “Contractor Training” re-do furniture. You might want to super-glue this wonderful table to your floor.
    If your daughter is anything like ours, soon she’ll also fall in love with this table, and then…well, watch out. 😉

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