Tag Archive for: asheville restore

Side by Side for 17 Years and Counting

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by Jonathan Dermid

At the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, we have been diligently working for 25 years to fund our cause – affordable housing. As we have shown in previous blog profiles, none of this would be possible without the work of our wonderful volunteers. Some of our volunteers have even been here long enough to help us grow from the small Home Store in downtown Asheville to the expansive, multi-level ReStore we have today.

Lee Fadden (pictured, L) and Jan Wright (pictured, R) are two of these volunteers, having been here for 17 and 25 years, respectively. In Jan’s case, she has been volunteering with us since our inception, and Lee for only a few years less.

“We were downtown first, and when we had stuff to price, we just had a little tiny area and an old farm sink,” Lee said of her time at the Home Store downtown.

After retiring from a career at Eaton Corporation, Lee found that she wanted something new to do.

“I retired and I wanted something to do, and I believe in what Habitat does in terms of helping people and making homes affordable,” she said. This worked out well for Lee, because she was good friends with Jan even before volunteering.

“Jan is one of my best friends, and she’s been here since they opened downtown,” Lee said. “So when I was looking to do something, Jan suggested Habitat to me and I’ve been here ever since.”

Today, they volunteer side-by-side in the housewares department, cleaning and preparing various home goods for sale, just as they have for the past 17 years.

There has been a great deal of looking back the ReStore’s history in light of the store’s 25th Anniversary. It has been encouraging to see that not only have we grown in our ability to both promote and fulfill our mission, but that some aspects have remained the same, like the commitment of many of our volunteers. No matter how we grow and change throughout the years, it’s nice to know that there is a solid foundation of caring individuals like Jan and Lee that keep our cause alive in the community.  And for that, we thank them.

Celebrating Our ReStore Volunteers

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by Jonathan Dermid

The bonding and teamwork among our volunteers is a common thread that links these blog profiles. Every week it seems, our volunteers share a similar sentiment – they love to volunteer because not only do they support the Habitat cause, but they also genuinely enjoy the bond they have with fellow volunteers.

So, it was very fulfilling to have so many of our volunteers under one roof as they ate, drank, and shared each others’ company at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at Highland Brewing Company. The event was graciously catered with homemade food from Alice Donnelly, chair of the Events Committee (and retired Asheville Area Habitat Accountant). The party also served as a way for us to celebrate the milestones of certain volunteers who have been with our affiliate for 5, 10, and 15 years.

The Enders, a partner family we highlighted in a previous blog post, offered remarks of gratitude before the awards ceremony. “We desired a home for a long time,” Michelle Ender said. “It’s a real blessing, and it changes our future completely. I’m very thankful that my children will have a place to call home.”

Michelle also shared her own experience in volunteering at the ReStore, saying “it really feels like a big family when I’m there.”

Lew Kraus, executive director of Asheville Area Habitat, shared a few words about how volunteering contributes to and ultimately shapes the work of Habitat. “I’m here to salute you for the wonderful things you have done and continue to do,” he said. “I reflect back on the many years I’ve spent here, and the true metrics of success are measured in the words of the Enders family. I don’t know how to measure the metrics when a family can come home at night, put their feet up, and say this is my home.”

While the event celebrated all ReStore volunteers, a handful were called out an recognized for longevity in service. Receiving the 5 year milestone award were Marge Marsh, Sheila Ray, Wally Lee, Norm Madden, Anne Tansey, Dick Hipp, Bill Kalavorich, and Tom Thompson. Denise Goodman and Sheri Waters received the 10 year award, getting their names on a plaque in addition to receiving a congratulatory pin. And Joe Kane, a volunteer of 15 years, received a hand-made copper tile (with a house design) to commemorate his many years of volunteer service.

Finally a very special award, the “Iron Man” award, was presented to our volunteer of 25 years, Allen Laws. ReStore General Manager Scott Stetson described him as being “just like family to us at the ReStore, and I think he gets as much out of helping us, as we do out of helping him.”

And so the night wound down, with the volunteers and staff gradually going their separate ways, the spirit of giving and selflessness filling the room. In only a couple hours’ time, the entire mission of Habitat for Humanity was conveyed by a simple dinner party, because without the efforts of the volunteers, there would be no party; there would be no Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity; there would be no homeowners receiving an opportunity to change their futures.

If you would like to be part of our life-changing work, click here to learn about volunteering.

 

And the winners are…

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 ReStore ReUse Contest!

 

Best in Show – Paul Willard
Willard_tree house_BEST IN SHOWTree house built with recycled materials
“I redesigned and expanded a deck for a family with three young boys. Talk of a tree house was heard and I began stockpiling materials for the tree house. Old deck was harvested and 2×4, 2×6 and 2×2 materials were utilized in the tree house. Trex deck boards were reused, and 1000 sq feet of surplus deconstructed Trex was donated to Habitat. Siding is 1×6 fence boards from old fence torn down on site. Octagonal windows are salvaged. Interior bench was rescued from the dumpster. Columns are old antique table legs. Main deck of tree house surrounds a huge silver maple, and crows nest climbs into a smaller maple next to it.”


 

Homesteading – Ferrin Cole
F Cole_aquaponic system_HOMESTEADINGSymbiotic aquaponic system
“Using scrap plumbing from a job-site, plastic trays I found by a dumpster, an old bakers rack, a $12 pond pump, and an old coca-cola insulated drink bin, I made this. Raised Tilapia in the drink bin, and pumped the water with the nutrient-rich fish fertilizer in it to the top tray on the rack. Then gravity pulls the water from tray to tray, feeding plants until it reaches the tank again. Plants grow quickly in the soil-free pea gravel gathered and rinsed from an old landscaping project. The whole system is portable, able to work indoors, and all you do is feed the fish then eat them and the veggies.”


 

Live and/or Work Space – David and Kim Hostetter
Hostetter_indoor off the grid pool_LIVE WORKIndoor “off the grid” pool house
“I built our “off the grid” pool house in four months using old windows, door and re-purposed wood. The windows and clear roof give it a greenhouse effect, which, with the black painted pool, keeps the water at a nice 80 degrees.”

 

 

 

 


 

Paige_garden bench_FURNITUREFurniture – Paige D.
Garden bench

“I made a bench out of an old bed frame I found on the side of the road, in someone’s trash! I cut the foot board in half and attached each half to either end of the headboard to serve as the armrests. I made a box see out of cheap lumber from Lowe’s and covered the seat part with scraps from the cuts. Lastly, I chose to paint in in old fashioned Milk Paint. Talk about Junk to Jewel!”


People’s Choice – Carla Berlin
Berlin_mobile potting cart_PEOPLES CHOICEMobile Potting Cart
“I purchased an old white bathroom cabinet from the Restore and used this as the base for my project. I used donated pallet wood, tile that was on sale because it was a broken box, paint that was rejected by another person and left on a sale bin, stain that I used on another piece of furniture, the original drawer pull and door knob that I repainted with spray paint that I picked up at an estate sale to match other hooks that I had picked up at Restore and were collecting dust until the right plan came along. One of my friends asked me if I could make a Potting Cart – now I love it so much, I cannot sell it!”

 

 

Click here to view all of the 2015 contest entries.

Volunteering to fix things, for the fun of it

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Spotlight on the ReStore’s Wednesday Small Appliance Repair Crew

By Jonathan Dermid

At the Asheville Habitat ReStore, we take great pride in our staff and volunteers. Not only are they the backbone of the store and its functionality, but their individual characters and personalities provide an energetic and welcoming atmosphere.

In the area of small appliance repair, “the Wednesday crew” is a particularly lively and affable group, who all shared the same notion about their volunteer work. They do it for the fun of the work and for the enjoyment of the company they share as they repair the appliances.

“I really like volunteering here because I get to interact with people that I get along with and have fun with,” Marty Toren said. “The work becomes secondary if you have that.”

Marty (pictured, center) came to Asheville from Salem, Oregon, where he volunteered on Habitat job sites until a back injury made him unable to do so. Upon moving to Asheville, he discovered that he could volunteer in the ReStore instead of having to do a great deal of physical work.

“I had a part-time job, so I had time to volunteer, and I thought I should volunteer for Habitat again,” he said. “I love being able to contribute to the buildings of homes for families who would be otherwise unable to afford them, just by volunteering here in the store.”

One of his team mates in the small appliances area is Bill Kalavorich (pictured, R), a retired physical therapist, who has been volunteering with Asheville Area Habitat for seven years now.

“I was exposed to Habitat through the United Way Day of Caring, Bill said. “Through that experience, I saw what a worthwhile organization Habitat is, and what they care about in their core business; so I wanted to do stuff with them.”

Both Bill and Wally Lee (another small appliance repair volunteer) echo Marty’s sentiment of how much fun volunteering at the ReStore can be.

“I started volunteering in the ReStore while I was still working, so I could only contribute one day a month,” said Wally (pictured, L). “When I retired, I moved to volunteering at the construction site weekly, but kept my position in the ReStore because it’s just so much fun.”

Wally is an Air Force veteran of four and a half years, and with his background in mechanical engineering, he has found a niche at the ReStore doing what he is both skilled at, and loves.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved taking things apart and putting them back together, so that also makes this kind of work really fun for me,” he said. “Plus, Habitat is one of the premier organizations, in my opinion, because they do so much between the ReStore and the building of homes and everything else.  It’s really rewarding to volunteer here every week.”

If you’d like to learn about volunteering in the Asheville Habitat ReStore, click here to learn more and sign up for a volunteer orientation session.

Working on a Dream

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by Jonathan Dermid

Some might consider “The American Dream” a bygone ambition, the idea of owning one’s own home a pipe dream. Thanks to perseverance, hard work, and a caring community, the Ender family will soon realize their dream and purchase a home of their own.

“The American dream is to have a house of your own. Over the years, and coming out of a place of poverty, to try to get to that has been a struggle,” Michelle Ender said. “We’ve moved from New Jersey to Leicester to Weaverville to West Asheville. Not because we couldn’t pay rent, but something would happen where the landlord would be selling the home or something like that.”

After hearing about Habitat’s homeownership program through their church, the Ender family began the application process and was absolutely thrilled to be approved. “We know it’s not a giveaway; we have to pay a mortgage and work (do sweat equity). But thank God the house will be in our name and Habitat makes it possible to have affordable housing,” noted Michelle.

More than anything, Michelle looks forward to the sense of permanence that her own home will provide.

“With the kids now, we’ve moved 6 times, so just having a place to call our own, to decorate on our own, is wonderful,” she said. “It’s a place to call home, a place the kids can come back to when they’re older.” Adequate space is also desired, as they currently live in an overcrowded situation. Their youngest child sleeps on the couch.

On their journey towards homeownership, they are spending a good bit of time at the ReStore earning sweat equity hours and getting to know volunteers. “Becoming a homeowner through Habitat also shows you what it’s like to volunteer here…everyone is so positive and nice and welcoming and they obviously care.”

Eric Ender, Michelle’s husband, a handyman by nature, has found a niche in the appliance and electronics repair area. One of their (3) children, Eric Jr, is also volunteering in the ReStore alongside his dad. Sharing a passion for music and the technology involved, the father-son duo was very excited to learn of a sweat equity opportunity in the repair area. Brian Haynes, a ReStore Assistant Manager, is equally excited. “This is a big help to the ReStore as electronics had been piling up because we did not have anyone to test them.”

In addition to volunteering at the ReStore, the Enders have spent many hours helping to build their home and the homes of their neighbors. Echoing his wife’s sentiments about the hard work that goes into Habitat homeownership, Eric Sr. adds “Habitat houses are built with love, and you can feel that.”

The Enders 4-bedroom/2-bath home in West Asheville is the 17th Interfaith House, sponsored by a diverse coalition of local faith congregations.

ReStore Silent Auction Celebrates 10 Years & Another Home for a Local Family

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In May 2005, Habitat volunteer Alan Williams set up the very first ReStore Silent Auction. In the ten years since its inception, the auction has raised $670,000, grown to be an important part of the Asheville ReStore, and is now the envy of Habitat ReStores around the nation. Williams still manages the auction but today he has help from staff and other volunteers.

The auction, like the ReStore itself, provides funds for Habitat’s building programs. The ReStore Silent Auction House currently being built in West Asheville will become home to the Frisbee family this fall. At the close of the auction on May 27th, there was a small celebration with the Frisbee family. WLOS interviewed Williams and Deanna Frisbee, and ReStore customers and Habitat supporters had the opportunity to meet the Frisbee family and sign a guest book and a stud wall. The signed 2×4 studs will used in the construction of a Habitat house.

To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Silent Auction, Williams and a small team of staff and volunteers curated a collection of mid-century furniture including Norman Cherner molded plywood chairs, a set of six J.L. Moller Model chairs, a L. Jacobson Model table with 2 extending leaves, and other collectible items. The set of six J.L. Moller Model chairs went for more than $1,100 – still a bargain since they’ve sold recently on eBay for twice that amount. Plus, ReStore purchases help build Habitat homes, so it was a win-win.

“We thought a mid-century furniture focus would be fun for the 10th Anniversary auction because this design style is so hot right now,” said Susan Haynes, ReStore Sales Manager. “We feel extremely fortunate to have received these incredible donations and by including them in the special 10th Anniversary auction, we hope to generate some buzz in the ReStore, expand the community’s awareness of our Silent Auction, and help ensure that these special pieces end up in a home where they will be appreciated and loved for many years to come.”

The auction included many other non mid-century items too.

To see photos from the event, please click here.

Setting a Good Example

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What makes the current Silent Auction so special? Every item in it was donated by Brian and Susan Haynes! Looking to be a model for other families who are downsizing, cleaning out an estate, or simply pairing down their possessions, the Haynes family donated a collection of items to the ReStore specifically for the Silent Auction. Items include vintage toys and lunchboxes, a mid-century Drexel chest, instruments handmade in Black Mountain, NC, vintage barware, a collection of Beatles memorabilia, and much more. Brian and Susan are life-long area residents, they are the former owners of Almost Blue, and they also happen to be Habitat employees. Now with grown children, they recently down-sized and donated a collection of unique items to the Silent Auction. You can also find many unique albums, posters and music memorabilia in the ReStore’s Book and Music area, thanks to the Haynes family. To see photos of just some of the items in this auction, click here. Auction ends January 21 at 2pm.

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