Spotlight: ReStore Volunteers Janis and John


Spotlight: ReStore Volunteers Janis Rose and John Harvin


Janis Rose, who has a dry, acerbic wit that belies her good-natured friendliness, has been volunteering at the ReStore long enough that the start of her time with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is a distant memory.

Janis kneels next to her dog, Teak.

Janis and her dog, Teak

“It’s been five… six years? Five years,” she recalls, “Actually, I was a full-time volunteer a long time ago, working on the trucks. That was eons ago, though.”

Since beginning her recent streak of volunteer service in 2019, Janis has become something of a fixture at the Asheville ReStore. In fact, she ranked #4 in top volunteer hours across the entire affiliate in 2023, dedicating 577 hours of her time to Habitat’s work. When congratulated on it, she gives a raised eyebrow and a cheeky, “yeehaw.”

Many of her hours in the ReStore, if not most, are spent handling holiday décor. Donations of seasonal decorations are a constant throughout the year, and with correspondingly seasonal demand, the accumulated goods can eventually grow out of control. When the flow of holiday items began to necessitate consistent oversight, Janis took on the challenge. On Mondays, while the store is closed to customers, she stocks the upper showroom’s holiday corner in preparation for upcoming celebrations. Sometimes she’s joined by her beloved beagle, Teak, who naps under the warm glow of the skylights while she works.

Janis's dog, Teak, adorned with a Christmas-themed reindeer antler headband.

Teak, adorned with reindeer antlers as the Christmas decorations go out

When there is no holiday to which she can tailor the shelves, she works with fellow volunteers to orchestrate the sorting and storing of goods in the basement. Though it may sound like a casual affair, the steady accumulation of holiday donations inevitably requires a labor-intensive mid-year purge of the surplus. If you have walked out of the Asheville ReStore with a $5 box of ornaments and decor during our annual “Christmas in July” sale, you can thank Janis for that.

Despite her consistency and dedication to the work, she says it’s not the Christmas decorations that keep her volunteering with the ReStore.

“The best part about volunteering at the ReStore is the people,” Janis shares, “The people, and doing incredibly good work for a great cause. Every day I’m grateful that I have a home, and I’m so grateful that we’re able to help provide that for others.”

When she’s not volunteering with the ReStore, Janis spends her time gardening and informally volunteering in her community, helping neighbors with personal projects and transportation.

“I do wear my Habitat hat and my shirt to show people that I’m proud that I work with an institution that provides good service,” she says, “and I feel like telling people, ‘go get it at [the ReStore] instead of paying, you know, $30 or $40 for something new.’”



John stands in the hardware processing area, surrounded by shelves of various bolts, screws, wrenches, and other hardware.

John stands in the hardware processing area

Though speaking to John Harvin may not give you the impression of someone who craves the spotlight (even if he’s been featured in our Volunteer Spotlight before), he continues to distinguish himself in his volunteer service. Last year, John logged a total of 727 volunteer hours, more than any other volunteer with Asheville Habitat in 2023. He would likely be the first to point out that it’s no competition (every bit of volunteer help counts, after all), but even he was surprised by his yearly total.

“I only put in two or three hours a day,” he explains.

A humble protest from a man who volunteers Monday through Friday.

John has been volunteering with the Asheville Habitat ReStores since 2015, working his way through box after box of donated hardware and tools alongside his fellow volunteers. By now, he has probably processed enough hardware to fill the average Home Depot, but he still finds the fun in it.

“[It’s] just so much fun,” John shares, “you never know what’s going to come in. I especially enjoy getting old tools, cleaning them up and looking up what people have used or sold them for—things like that. It’s almost like archeology, digging into the past.”

Despite this, it’s not the excitement of the treasure hunt that brings him back every weekday morning. Like Janis, John finds himself drawn to Habitat by the importance of the work and the community that has formed around it.

“Number one, what a great organization, the work they do,” he says, “Number two, you get a chance to work with a lot of really fun people… Not only with the volunteers, but the employees, too. Such a great group of people. It’s fun to come in in the morning and have everyone know your name.”

Read John’s original Volunteer Spotlight here.

Celebrating Earth Day with the Asheville Habitat ReStores

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With Earth Day just around the corner, it’s an ideal time to reflect on how the Asheville Habitat ReStores fit into not only our mission and community, but our responsibility to minimize our waste. Our ReStores play a crucial role in recirculating saleable goods within our community at affordable prices. Every item purchased at the ReStore—a gently used piece of furniture, a salvaged building material, or a pre-loved appliance—helps fund Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership and Home Repair programs. This sustainable cycle not only supports families and individuals in need of safe, affordable housing, but also keeps material objects from the landfill while giving them a second chance at life. Read on to learn more about how we minimize our impact on the environment while maximizing our impact on our community.

Waste Diversion:

2,851 tons of waste diverted from landfills in 2023.

In 2023, the Asheville and Weaverville ReStores diverted 2,851 tons of waste from the landfill. If you’re wondering what that looks like, that’s the mass of roughly 1,400 passenger cars — or more cars than can fit on the Golden Gate Bridge at once! Through a steady stream of cabinets, appliances, furniture, housewares and, yes, even cars, donors in our community kept a veritable San Francisco traffic jam worth of material flowing through the ReStores last year. Gently loved couches that might have been tossed at the transfer station were instead re-homed to people in need of seating on a budget. Volunteers repaired large appliances that had given up the ghost, breathing new life into sturdy old machines with new parts. And excess glassware donated by local restaurants found itself back in style, rather than back in the bin. Though the sheer volume of usable goods kept out of the ground can be hard to conceptualize, the results are not: in 2023, proceeds from the sales of these items helped 16 qualified homebuyers purchase a home in partnership with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, and 56 homes in our community saw crucial repairs affordably completed with the help of our Home Repair team.


Fabric Recycling:

14,760 pounds of fabric recycled through Green Zone textile recycling in 2023.Back in early 2020, the ReStores found themselves in a (mostly positive) pickle: local animal rescue shelters that had been taking accumulated unsaleable fabrics and textiles from the stores could no longer accept them. The shelters, which had been using the fabrics for bedding and cleaning material, were so well supported that they no longer had any need for them. To continue keeping the unsaleable textiles out of the trash, Asheville Habitat connected with Green Zone Recycling. Green Zone, based out of Durham, NC, is the largest textile recycler in the southeast U.S. market, and they have been picking up fabric by the (increasingly large) bag from the Asheville ReStore every week since February of 2020. To date, the ReStores have recycled over 43,815 pounds of fabric through Green Zone, with 14,670 pounds recycled in 2023 alone!



82 Deconstruction jobs completed by ReStore staff and volunteers in 2023.The ReStores don’t just accept donations of cabinets: sometimes we go and pull them ourselves. In 2023, the ReStore’s Deconstruction team completed 82 jobs, extracting reusable building materials prior to remodels or renovations performed by local homeowners, contractors, or businesses. According to a 2018 study conducted by the EPA, “the construction industry contributed more than 600 million tons of waste to landfills, and of that 600 million, 90% was contributed from demolitions.” Our Deconstruction program not only diverts usable material from the landfill, but it also provides an important source of funding for Asheville Habitat by reselling extracted items into the community through the ReStores. Learn more about our Deconstruction program and its economic and environmental benefits in this article by Deconstruction Supervisor Colin Bristow.

Spotlight: Weaverville ReStore

The original "Habitat Home Store" on Biltmore Ave in 1990

The original “Habitat Home Store” in 1990.

By Danny Mendl

When former Executive Director Lew Kraus opened the (then called) “Habitat for Humanity Home Store” on Biltmore Avenue in 1990, the endeavor could almost be described as experimental. Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity became one of the first Habitat affiliates in the nation to help fund its housing programs by reselling donated goods. Residents of Asheville could donate gently used furniture and items that they no longer needed while shopping for things they did need at below retail prices, with proceeds from the process supporting the construction of affordable housing in their community. The experiment proved to be a hit, and after moving to its current location at 31 Meadow Road in 2001, the Asheville ReStore continued to grow into its status today as one of the top performing ReStores out of nearly 900 nationwide.

As Asheville Habitat’s flagship ReStore grew, so too did the volume of donated merchandise passing through the store. ReStore trucks picked up donations in the community at no charge, bringing new batches of secondhand goods into the store each day, while Habitat’s Deconstruction program filled the retail floor with in-demand building materials extracted from homes and commercial real estate prior to remodeling. When the time came for Asheville Habitat to open a second ReStore location, it was less experimental than inevitable.


In August of 2019, 29 years after the doors of the Asheville ReStore first opened, the Weaverville ReStore welcomed its first customers. Located in the Weaverville Crossings shopping plaza at 61 Weaver Blvd. where a hardware store once stood, the second, slightly smaller store was a natural fit for the Weaverville community and northern Buncombe County as a whole. Today, the Weaverville ReStore is an important source of funding for Asheville Habitat’s building programs; though Weaverville’s population is only 4% of Asheville’s, the Weaverville ReStore does roughly 33% of the total business of its Asheville counterpart.

A crowd of people waiting outside of the Weaverville ReStore on opening day.

The opening of the Weaverville ReStore in August of 2019.

The Weaverville ReStore accepts, processes, and resells much of the same merchandise as the Asheville ReStore: furniture, housewares, appliances, building supplies, art, and more. Despite its smaller size, the Weaverville store even matches the Asheville store with a secondhand bookstore of its own, complete with a selection of digital and analog media like DVDs, CDs, tapes, and records.

This summer will mark the fifth anniversary of the Weaverville ReStore, celebrating half a decade of diverting saleable goods from the landfill and affordably recirculating them throughout Buncombe County to support Asheville Habitat’s Homeownership and Home Repair programs. Looking forward to the next half decade to come, we sat down with Weaverville ReStore Manager Kim Klaas to reflect on what makes the Weaverville store unique:


Q: What’s the biggest difference between the Asheville and Weaverville ReStores?

A: *Laughs* “The size! Definitely the size of the space. The whole Weaverville store could fit in the Asheville ReStore’s upper showroom. But that’s okay, we just have to get a little bit creative to fit all of the generous donations from the community into our store.”

The main aisle of the Weaverville ReStore, surrounded by dining sets and furniture.

Inside the Weaverville ReStore

Q: Are there benefits to running a smaller store?

A: “Maybe the relationships. We get a lot of traffic from Asheville and the surrounding towns, of course, but Weaverville is a small town. The people who donate and shop here know about us, and they know about Asheville Habitat’s work. Maybe they know someone who purchased a Habitat home, have a friend who volunteers, or have a relative whose home had work done by our Home Repair team. They believe in the work that we do. The deals don’t hurt either!”


Q: What do you think are the best deals at the Weaverville ReStore?

A: “Is ‘everything’ an acceptable answer? If I have to choose, I think the bookstore is a hidden gem. Where else are you going to find a selection of books like this, including some new or recent prints, for only $1-$2 each?”

Rows of books inside the Weaverville ReStore's bookstore.

A look inside the Weaverville ReStore’s bookstore.

Q: Why would someone come to the Weaverville ReStore instead of the Asheville ReStore?

A: “Wrong question. You should visit both stores; we’re only 15 minutes apart! We carry mostly the same things as Asheville: building supplies, furniture, housewares, electronics, art, etc. We even have entire cabinet sets, sometimes multiple! But because our stores are donation-based, you’re going to find different items in each. Your search for the right couch isn’t complete until you’ve checked both.”


Q: You don’t think there’s anything that’s more likely to be found at the Weaverville ReStore?

A: “Alright, well, if we can keep a secret… I think there’s an older demographic here in town, and when they commit to spring cleaning, they donate some really cool vintage items that never last long. You’ll have to stop in to see.”


Q: What would you say to someone who hasn’t shopped at the Weaverville ReStore before?

A: “Don’t be shy, come visit us! And don’t be afraid to ask questions. The fun of the ReStore, and Habitat, is in its community. You never know, the person ringing you up at the register might be a friend of a friend, or possibly a future Habitat Homeowner contributing their Sweat Equity hours.”

ReStore: Not Your Average Thrift Shop

From thrift to consignment and antique to vintage, the Asheville area is full of places selling second-hand items. See what makes the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity ReStores unique.

Habitat ReStore Round Up: Small Change, Big Impact

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Shoppers at the Asheville Habitat ReStores can support more than Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and affordable housing. Through the Register Round Up program, folks have the opportunity to contribute to the work of a wide range of non-profit organizations meeting myriad community needs. In 2023, thanks to the generosity of shoppers who chose to “round up” at the registers, $24,591 was raised and donated to 11 local non-profits and a Habitat for Humanity disaster response effort. 2023 beneficiaries were:

  • Neighbors in Need
  • MLK Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County
  • Bounty and Soul
  • Mutual Aid Disaster Relief
  • Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness
  • Helpmate
  • Homeward Bound
  • The Mediation Center
  • Habitat for Humanity Maui (Wildfires relief efforts)
  • Asheville Poverty Initiative
  • ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters
  • The Steady Collective

“It was a big year and your contribution through the Round Up made a huge difference,” shared Aiyanna Foltz, Donor Relations Manager at Bounty and Soul. “We are so thankful to the ReStore and Habitat for Humanity for nourishing so many through the Register Round Up program!”

Kim Klass, Manager of the Weaverville Habitat ReStore and Chair of the ReStore’s Societal Impact Committee noted, “The ReStore provides a conduit; we are pleased to facilitate a connection to non-profits in the area doing good work. It’s the generosity of our shoppers that make this program so impactful. All the small incremental donations – 10, 30, 65 cents – add up to big change.”

In the program’s inaugural year, 2019, $11,717 was raised. Since then, thousands of small sub-$1 donations have cumulatively raised more than $105,000 for community partners.

To see the breadth of the Round Up program’s 2023 impact across the community, click here.

2023 ReStore ReUse Contest Winners Announced


Congratulations to the winners of our 12th annual ReStore ReUse Contest! Thanks to all entrants for sharing your creativity and talent for a chance to win.

2023 ReUse Contest Now Open


Now through September 30, residents can show off their creativity and talent for a chance to win in the 12th annual ReStore ReUse Contest contest. Fabulous furniture make-overs, remarkable renovations, or unique yard art…if you recently took on a DIY project using predominantly reused building materials, we want to know.

Blue Ridge Service Corps Spotlight: Natalie McNally

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Over the last six months that Natalie has been apart of our Decon team, she has learned how to extract cabinets and granite tops while keeping them intact, disconnect light fixtures and ceiling fans from both the electrical and mounting brackets, disconnect waterlines from sinks and drains, and more.

Community benefits from ReStore Shoppers’ Generosity

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When you shop at the Asheville Habitat ReStores, you support more than Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and affordable housing. You also have the opportunity to contribute to the work of a wide range of non-profit organizations meeting myriad community needs. In 2022, thanks to the generosity of shoppers who chose to “round up” at the registers, $24,627 was raised and donated to 10 local non-profits and 2 Habitat for Humanity disaster response efforts. 2022 beneficiaries were:

  • BeLoved Asheville
  • MLK Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County
  • All Souls Counseling Center
  • Habitat for Humanity’s Ukraine Emergency Response
  • United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County
  • Blue Ridge Pride
  • Woodson Branch Nature School
  • Sistas Caring 4 Sistas
  • Asheville P.E.A.K. Academy
  • Eblen Charities
  • ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters
  • Habitat for Humanity of Florida: Disaster Relief (Hurricane Ian)

SistasCaring4Sistas co-founder Nikita Smart shared, “When we have unrestricted funding like the Register Roundup it allows us to go the extra mile with our families. This is important to us, but also the families we serve, especially when they feel they have nowhere else to go or local agencies are out of funding, or the need is something they don’t fund. Myself as well as the rest of the team at Sistas Caring 4 Sistas, thank you deeply for the donation, and dedication to the work we do.”

“The ReStore offers a unique opportunity for Habitat to use its platform to support others doing work that intersects with affordable housing- including healthcare, education, disaster relief and community development,” said Scott Bianchi, Manager of the Asheville Habitat ReStore. “Asheville Habitat provides the mechanism, but it’s the generosity of our shoppers who make this program successful. All those small incremental donations – 10, 30, 65 cents – they add up to big change.”

Implemented in 2019 to support other non-profits serving our community, the Round Up program raised $11,717 that first year. Since its inception, thousands and thousands of small sub-$1 donations have cumulatively raised nearly $80,000.

To see the breadth of the Round Up program’s 2022 impact across the community, click here.

2022 ReStore ReUse Contest Winners Announced


Congratulations to the winners of our 11th annual ReStore ReUse Contest! Thanks to all entrants for sharing your creativity and talent for a chance to win.