When Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Brian Brake asked for help from the community to build a cold storage facility at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, he was not disappointed by the response.
“This is a community organization. To see these people come together and offer — there was nobody that I called that turned me down,” said Brake during the grand opening ceremony for the new building at the Red Deer ReStore on Friday morning.
The facility will allow the staff at ReStore to protect items such as windows and doors, which until now had to be kept outside, from the winter elements.
“This building that we’re putting up outside today will enable us to protect from old man winter, all of the windows and things that we’ve been storing outdoors for the last number of years,” Brake said, adding the building will also provide a much more comfortable browsing experience for the ReStore’s customers during the winter months.
The building itself was purchased from a company in Ontario with grant money from the Government of Alberta’s Community Initiatives Program.
“I approached (Red Deer-North MLA Kim Schreiner) and asked her if she could get us some funding from the CIP grant process, of course that flows through her desk and she supported it 100 per cent. Within three months we had the funding, I was able to buy the building,” Brake said.
Everything else, from the overhead door to the foundation to the windows and doors now housed inside of it, was provided by donations from various businesses from around the community.
“Everything else in the building now is being provided by local companies in this area, so this building ended up costing us nothing.”
That is huge for the ReStore, which is a retail store run by Habitat for Humanity that accepts donations of new and gently used building materials and resells the items at a fraction of the retail price, with all of the profits going towards funding Habitat for Humanity’s larger projects in the Red Deer region.
According to Habitat for Humanity’s web site, the 69 ReStore locations across Canada keep over 22,700 tons of usable goods out of landfills.
Brake said that over the past 12 months, Habitat Red Deer officials estimates their ReStore location has saved 500 tons of building materials from going to landfills.
“It’s a wonderful way to recycle things,” he said.
Because of the new building, the ReStore will be able to offer products in a much better way, which will keep the funds flowing through the winter months.
“All in all, we average around $600,000 in sales through the donations of local citizens here, which is wonderful,” Brake said.
Part of that money goes to paying the small staff that runs the ReStore, which means a net profit of around $370,000 per year that goes towards paying for Habitat for Humanity housing projects, such as the homes currently being built in Lacombe.
“The homes that are being built in Lacombe right now will end up costing about $900,000 for the four homes. We have $480,000 of that which has been given to us by the City of Lacombe. It’s then up to us to go find the rest of the funding,” Brake said, adding that funds from the ReStore will also help fund potential future projects.