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ReStoring Pride In Philadelphia

Posted Oct 7, 2014


As a hobby, some people enjoy refinishing old furniture and bringing antiques back to life, but in reality, this is done as more than a hobby. The truth is that furniture is expensive and when the days have passed and the furniture becomes worn, it is often put on the curb for trash pickup.

What if there was a way to not only cut back on the waste of throwing an old piece of furniture away, but what if it could be taken to a place to be cleaned up, fixed or re-furbished and then sold to members of the community. Second-hand retail outlets are growing as destinations when it comes to furnishing a house and there is a location right in Philadelphia to do so.

In Philadelphia, one in four families is forced to decide between paying for rent or food, medical bills or transportation to work. Unfortunately, this compels many families to make tough decisions that have a lasting impact on their lives, their children and their communities. To assist these families in need, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s ReStore, which opened in September 2010, is a second-hand retail outlet open to the public to shop for quality donated home furnishings, furniture and building supplies at a large discounted cost. 

A 2014 Eagles Care partner, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s mission is to transform lives and the city by building quality homes in partnership with families in need, uniting all Philadelphians around the cause of affordable housing. It strives to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. Many know Habitat for Humanity for building or repairing homes within the community, but Habitat for Humanity ReStore is an entirely different way to serve and help the community.

The ReStore accepts these new and gently used home goods, fixtures and building supplies in an effort to build and repair homes in partnership with families in need. In the 2013 fiscal year, Habitat’s ReStore raised $89 million and built more than 890 homes.

Frank Monaghan, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, best explained what the ReStore does to help the community.

"What we do is, normally for home furnishings or contractor's goods, we come to pick it up, and then we'll bring it back here and clean it up and then sell it to the general public at a fraction of the cost."

On Monday, Eagles players helped the ReStore unload, refurbish and stock the shelves with some of the donated appliances and furniture. The team brought some muscle for these tasks as defensive ends Brandon Bair, Fletcher Cox and Taylor Hart were joined by nose tackle Bennie Logan and quarterback Mark Sanchez to volunteer at the ReStore as a part of the Community Monday initiative.

This was Bair's first time at a Community Monday this season, but it was not his first time working with Habitat for Humanity. Bair participated in a two-year mission trip to Jacksonville, Fla. after he graduated from the University of Oregon, where he helped construct houses for Habitat for Humanity.

"I did this a lot when I was on my mission in Florida; a different style because we were actually out there building the houses and everything, so it's neat to come back here and give back a little bit more and just to be part of the community."

The ReStore is really a vital source of income to help finance the Habitat for Humanity construction builds as well. Without these funds, some projects would not be able to be completed.

"The profits that we get help us to build and prepare homes" Monaghan explained, "So, we've built a couple of homes with the money that we've made from the ReStore."

He added that the Philadelphia Eagles were instrumental in helping Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia as well. 

"The best part about of the whole partnership is what the Eagles are doing. They are making us a better non-profit. They're teaching us in how to be better in a lot of different things."

The Eagles are not the only instructor however in this manner. The ReStore taught Sanchez and the other players involved that Habitat for Hummanity has these locations.

"I had no idea, this is totally new to me," Sanchez said. "I know that when you hear the name 'Habitat for Humanity' you know that they help build affordable homes for people, but this is a really cool opportunity."

Sanchez continued to explain how Habitat for Humanity helps the players' moving process when they switch cities and teams as well. He had his first taste of this experience when he moved to Philadelphia from New York during the offseason.

“It is great because when guys go from team to team and they leave their apartment, these people come and pick up their stuff and they'll put it here and I know it will go to good use, instead of just kicking it out to the curb.”

Who knows maybe the players were helping unload some of the items that you donated?

The ReStore is a great piece of the community and is instrumental in changing the lives of families. If you would like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia or the ReStore, please visit their website, Habitatphiladelphia.org

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