Habitat’s ReStore makes improvements affordable

LSU ready for Bulldogs
August 28, 2007
August 30
August 30, 2007

Bayou Area Habitat for Humanity in Thibodaux operates two stores to satisfy the desires of discount-minded shoppers in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit international organization that constructs houses at greatly reduced prices for qualifying individuals.

The ReStore at 5021 W. Main St. in Gray offers building supplies almost exclusively. Operating hours are Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon.

The store sells doors, cabinets, paint, siding, flooring, and electrical and plumbing fixtures, including PVC pipes, among other items. The “Re” in the name stands for “recycled” (building supplies).

The outlet is most excited now about offering a large shipment of carpeting it recently received.

“A local flooring company donated the carpets to us,” said Lisa Smith, BAHFH development director. “It’s brand-new carpeting.”

Most donations to the store are overstock and slightly damaged goods from manufacturers and retailers, in addition to the contributions of used items from individuals.

“You’re buying quality items at discount prices,” Smith said. “Money is not going into a big pot, like at Wal-Mart.”

“Anything we make goes into local construction,” she said.

Most donors can claim the contributed items on their income tax forms.

The ReStore accepts cash and credit cards – no checks – and it has a no-refunds policy.

“If an electronic item can’t be tested, it will say so on the item,” Smith said.

The store does not have a layaway plan, but items can be held for up to seven days for customer pick-up.

The Home Store at 800 Jackson St. in Thibodaux sells mainly household items, but it does offer some building supplies. Operating hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The store sells chairs, tables and sofas – and more furniture pieces – dishes, sheets, seasonal decorations, baby supplies, mattresses, and box springs, among other items.

The Home Store also offers items and knickknacks to supply the family RV, said Aimee Bourgeois, Habitat volunteer resource manager.

Smith said the Home Store has “tons” of teacher supply items, such as books, crafts, and children’s toys.

However, the outlet does not sell clothes.

All store employees at both locations are volunteers.

Smith said that business during the summer is usually slow, but the Home Store draws around a hundred customers a day. The ReStore receives 30 to 40 customers a day.

The building on Jackson Street was donated by the Atmos Energy gas company and opened as the Home Store in 2002.

It received some structural damage on Aug. 21 after a car slammed into the building, but Smith said the Home Store is open for business.

Other ReStore locations in south Louisiana are in Baton Rouge, Mandeville, New Orleans and Slidell.

Call (985) 447-6999 to donate items or for more information.

The Habitat Restore in Gray recently received a large shipment of brand-new carpets.