Editor’s Note: You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t been affected by COVID-19. Some have suffered losses they will never recover because they have lost their loved ones. For others, the losses have been financial and extremely stressful. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all.
In March, like many businesses, ReStore Rabun closed its doors due to the shelter in place order from Governor Brian Kemp. While we initially hoped it would only be for two weeks, the shutdown lasted until mid-June--four months! Proceeds from our ReStore pay for one-quarter to one half of each Habitat home we build. The closure created a massive shortfall for us to make up.
Beyond the financial ramifications, though, there is the personal side. What makes our ReStore so amazing is our staff and volunteers. They are friendly and helpful, plus you can’t find harder working people! When the store shut down, our employees were sent home. And while they were able to receive unemployment, each one wanted to get back to work.
They kept busy during the shelter in place--most doing as Truck Driver Danny Holland said, “I had lots of work to do around the house!”
All are grateful to be back at work now and helping ReStore get back to the business of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Cashier Sandra Vinson said,” It’s wonderful seeing all the customers that come in regularly and having our crew back together again.”
Without “the crew’s” help and commitment, the store would not be ready for business. Each crew member worked diligently to thoroughly clean and disinfect the store before the store reopened according to the special protocols. Also, because so many people had cleaned out their closets, garages, etc., during the shelter in place, the store had a backlog of donations!
“Customers say it is wonderful we are open again. They missed being able to shop and appreciate the precautions we are taking to keep everyone safe. They appreciate that our store is clean!” said Sandra Harper, Assistant Manager.
“As a member of the Habitat Board and Chair of the ReStore Operations, I could not be more proud of our entire ReStore team,” said Tim Ranney. “I hope the community comes to visit us and see the wonderful donations of merchandise whose sales proceeds are critical to Habitat for Humanity’s mission.”
The cleaning process is duplicated each day to keep the store safe--which is no small task considering the massive number of items you can find in ReStore! The staff is working hard to ensure each customer has a superior shopping experience.
When customers first walk into the store, they are greeted with a smile and an offer of hand sanitizer--because we know it is difficult to walk through the store without touching items. Arrows help direct the flow of customers to maintain proper social distancing. ReStore is asking that all customers wear a mask--for their safety and the safety of others.
One new item you’ll find now in the store is residential LED light bulbs. Max Lite and Georgia Power have generously teamed up with our store to provide our customers with energy-efficient LED bulbs at affordable prices. You can find them easily in our store, and they will be restocked frequently. Check out these savings!
4 pack of 65W for $3.99
4 pack of 75W for $3.99
3 pack of 40W for $2.49
Make sure you take advantage of this excellent opportunity! There is a limit of 16 per customer each day. All proceeds benefit affordable housing in Rabun County.
If you can’t shop in the store, we have also opened an online store: habitatrabun.com/shop. You can buy directly from the website, have items held for you, or get an idea of what the store has before you come in that day. However, if in-store shopping works best for you, ReStore Rabun is working hard to meet your needs.
Of course, we still accept your donations! Your donations are the lifeblood of our store. Where else can a doorknob help build a whole house? If you need a pickup, call 706-212-2059 to schedule a time. Donations can be dropped off on Monday-Saturday between 10 am- 2 pm. For more information, visit habitatrabun.com/restore.
The Habitat Board of Directors is grateful to all the ReStore employees, volunteers, and customers for sticking with us through this challenging period. We appreciate all you do to help bring affordable housing to your neighbors and community!