Week 5, Day 5: Atina Rizk at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore

The ReStore will even come pick up your donation!

Donating to the ReStore is a cinch. They’ll even come pick up your donation in their big truck!

The aesthetic of a home has a huge impact on those who live there. No one wants to feel that their house is shabby; no one wants to feel bad inviting their friends to visit. This of course assumes that you have a house. What if you don’t?  Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to eliminate substandard homes and provide people with safe environments while simultaneously fighting urban blight for entire communities. But this blog is not about Habitat for Humanity. It’s about their ReStore (punny name, I know!).

The ReStore’s merchandise consists of donated furniture, building materials, appliances, nick knacks, and odds and ends. It is run by Habitat for Humanity and all profits benefit it. This is my kinda place, a shop where everything is for a good cause and everything has potential. There are pieces with beautiful structure but have seen better days. This is where I come in.

Before...a little rusty, a little bent outta shape.

Before…a little rusty, a little bent outta shape.

I volunteered to refurbish the items with more potential so that the ReStore can sell them more profitably. This is what I do in my every day life for fun, making it the ideal volunteer activity for me. After visiting earlier in the week to choose items to work on, I was brimming with excitement to get started. I picked out a washstand, a retro wire framed couch, a children’s chair, and an andirondack love seat to improve upon. It was decided that I should wait until I was actually working on the furniture to get supplies because something useful could be donated at any moment.



The ReStore is essentially a recycling center, so there is no way to know what might come in. The best illustration of what can be done here involves the wire couch. I had a plan to cover some of the pillows that were in the home section with fun prints from around the clothing section, but then I arrived at the ReStore and discovered that several bolts of upholstery fabric had been donated. Serendipity at its finest! I think all the pieces have turned out well, and now the items will hopefully sell for much more and help the Habitat for Humanity in their mission.

Interior design is functional art that can change people’s lives by changing their attitudes towards themselves. Being on a shoestring budget does not mean that you cannot come home to something beautiful and something all your own. It just takes time, a little imagination, and some elbow grease.


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