The concept of the ReStores originally developed at the Habitat for Humanity affiliate level on the East Coast and was gradually picked up by affiliates all over the country.
When the housing crisis hit Southwest Riverside County, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley needed to create new fundraising revenue streams to support all of the community programs and building we had created.
When we first opened our Temecula location, we only had enough stock to fill a third of our building. But we continued to seek donations and generate partnerships with retailers to build up our stock. We opened our Lake Elsinore store 15 months after we opened Temecula to give our shoppers more access to goods they needed.
The success of the ReStore and what it does for our organization can be attributed to the fact that it is consistent with our mission of improving living conditions for those in our community. Our ReStores have helped divert more than 2,600 tons of trash from local landfills. And the money raised from sales in the ReStores goes directly into the programming we offer to the community.
The ReStores have many other benefits as well. They have become training grounds for volunteers who are unemployed or displaced in their careers and gives them an opportunity to learn in a retail and merchandising environment. There are three groups of disabled individuals that come to volunteer at the ReStores as part of a training program. We also provide education through our free Healthy Homes Workshops and partnerships with some of our vendors.
The ReStores have been an invaluable asset to Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, allowing us to help the community with our affordable merchandise as well as funding our community programs. All consistent with our motto: "We give a hand up, not a hand out."