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Renovations Aim to Improve ReStore Experience

If you have not stopped by either of Our Towns Habitat’s ReStore locations recently, you may find that things look a bit different. The Mooresville and Cornelius stores have been undergoing renovations and reorganization to improve shopper experience and make it easier to browse our eclectic merchandise.

Check out stations are being relocated in both stores to improve traffic flow and create more floor space for merchandise. New display fixtures have been built and installed in both stores. Lighting fixtures and lamps will be much easier to shop at both stores thanks to these new displays.

In Cornelius, the furniture gallery has swapped locations with housewares, and a partial wall between the front and back was removed to open up the store. The linen, lighting and electrical departments were also relocated.

Mooresville ReStore Lighting Department

Mooresville ReStore Lighting Department

The lighting, flooring and rugs were moved in our Mooresville store. The donation area and stockroom were reorganized to provide more floor space for merchandise. The Mooresville location has also begun carrying electronics, sporting goods and home health items again.

“All of these renovations were designed to provide a better shopping experience at the ReStores so that we can generate more funds to build more houses,” said Denise Copeland, Director of Operations. “We want to make it easier for shoppers to find ReStore treasures and make the stores feel more open and inviting. The response from customers so far has been extremely positive.”

All these renovations would not have been possible without the hard work of ReStore staff and volunteers, along with some assistance from the Our Towns construction team, who built new fixtures and shelving to improve product display. Renovation work is tentatively scheduled to be completed by early December.

Both ReStores are looking forward to a busy holiday season, with special promotions and social media contests in the works. Make sure you stay tuned to our Facebook page for details! And as we approach the end of the year, this is a great time to clear out items in storage and donate them to the ReStores. Call 704-896-8957 ext. 204 or use our online form to schedule a pickup of larger items. Remember, donations made by December 31 can be deducted on your 2016 taxes.

Volunteer Profile: Joshua Seals

At nine years old, Joshua Seals was too young to volunteer on the construction site. Instead, he joined his mother, Lorey, when she came into the office to assemble, stuff, seal and prepare Our Town’s monthly newsletter to be mailed via snail mail.
The Seals family has been actively volunteering with Our Towns Habitat since 2010. Lorey’s first experience was accompanying her daughter Madison, then a middle school student, to an Our Towns’ job site to take pictures for a school project. After witnessing the passion the volunteers and staff had for Habitat’s mission, she and the Seals family were hooked!

Now 17, Joshua is the president of the Habitat Club at Lake Norman High School. He was appointed to this role by the former president—his sister Madison. Under his and Madison’s leadership, the Club has supported Our Towns through fundraising and volunteering. For example, the Club organized bake sales at the ReStores, provided Halloween fun at a “Trunk or Treat” and attended school fairs to spread the word about Habitat. Club members volunteered on four build projects last year, doing landscaping on newly-constructed Habitat homes.

Joshua has even involved students from China in Habitat’s mission. Last year, Joshua was one of five students chosen from his school to travel to China as part of a partnership with a Chinese company. In his application, Joshua proposed a reciprocal partnership — inviting students from China to visit the United States. After returning from China, he made good on his promise, and students from China are now spending a year in America. Of course, he has already committed that some of their time will be spent volunteering for Our Towns.

Aside his Habitat service, Joshua plays basketball and cross country, is on his school’s student council and is a member of the Interclub Council. His school nominated him to attend the Governor’s School this summer to study social science, which he believes will be a life-changing experience.

Our Towns Habitat is honored that Joshua has chosen to invest his time and effort in us. We are grateful for all the volunteers who make it possible for us to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter in our community. If you would like to contribute your time and talents to Our Towns, visit our volunteer page to learn more about service opportunities.

Americans Make Giving a Holiday Tradition

Since the tradition of “Giving Tuesday” was introduced four years ago, Americans have embraced the concept, expanding the celebration of Thanksgiving from football games and family dinners, to a season of donating time, energy and money to help others in need.

According to the book, Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience, “The celebration of the American Thanksgiving with Black Friday and Giving Tuesday has gone global. Retailers and Non-Profits worldwide participate in Black Friday and Giving Tuesday, which are almost as well known in Brazil and Bulgaria as they are in the United States.”

Giving Tuesday has now spread internationally, with more than 71 countries participating last year and raising a total of $116 million dollars in one day. Also, according to the Department of Labor, Thanksgiving is the most popular day of the year for giving of one’s time by most Americans.

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity is blessed to have supporters who love to give of themselves. Last year you gave enough time, money and energy to build 18 homes and save 40 additional homes through critical repairs. That is a total of 58 families served, or more than 1 family saved every week.

I am constantly in awe of what can be accomplished when we bring people together to put God’s love into action. Thank you for working together with Our Towns Habitat to make sure all of our friends and neighbors can have a decent, affordable place to call home for the holidays.

May you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving that is a celebration of love, gratefulness and giving back.

Jeff Porter

Executive Director

Keep Your Home Safe for the Holidays

There’s nothing like being home for the holidays. But all of our holiday activities can create increased safety risks. Fires are a particular risk this time of year, from kitchen fires to blazes sparked by Christmas light. Make sure you don’t neglect these important safety precautions to keep your loved ones safe and protect your home.

Safety in the Kitchen
  • If deep-frying a turkey, always do so outside, at least 10 feet from your home. Make sure your fryer is on level ground, and your turkey is thawed and dry.
  • Never leave food unattended when frying or grilling. User at timer to remind you to check dishes that are in the oven or simmering on the stove—with extra people and activity in your home, it’s easy to get distracted!
  • Keep pot holders, food packaging and other flammable materials at least three feet from the stove.
  • If you have a grease fire, DO NOT douse with water. Carefully suffocate it with a lid (if small enough) using potholders, douse with baking soda or use a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand (make sure you have one nearby!).
  • Before the big cooking day, check all smoke alarms. Also clean your oven and cooktop—grease build up can lead to fires.
  • Unplug any unnecessary appliances to avoid overloading your circuits.
  • Keep children and pets out of the kitchen.
Christmas Decoration Safety
  • Before stringing your lights, carefully check all strands for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
  • Keep any real Christmas trees well-watered—dry leaves and hot lights are a bad combination.
  • Consider switching to LED lights, which are cool to the touch—and much more efficient! LEDs also have no glass and are more durable.
  • Make sure lights hung outside are rated for outdoor use.
  • Make sure all cords are taped down to avoid trip hazards.
  • If lighting candles, keep away from flammable materials, do not leave unattended and be sure to extinguish all candles before leaving or going to bed. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near evergreens.