Donations made easy
Habitat St. Charles ReStore has begun accepting various contributions at its 1 Stop Donation Shop
By Brett Auten
A location to consolidate all of your donations has quietly taken shape.
Armed with its new philosophy and purpose, the Habitat St. Charles ReStore, located 186 Mid Rivers Center in St Peters has taken its mantra of, “help us help you help them and us,” to the next level.
In November of last year, the Habitat St. Charles ReStore began accepting almost everything as a donation under the umbrella of 1 Stop Donation Shop (or 1SDS). The goal is a rather simple but a needed one, to make donating items (that is, items that are safe and lawful to accept) easy, this is where the donation program comes in to play.
Week in and week out, staff at the Habitat St. Charles Restore see residents who have the best intentions when it comes to donating usable items, but the hassle of getting the right donations to the right organizations generally leads to taking the easiest route; to the curb and in the garbage.
“For 10 years we have had to turn away donations and that can make donors angry,” Lori Kehoe, ReStore Manager, said. “Over the last year or so we have worked to find a way to stop telling people no.”
Kehoe and her team have streamlined and simplified the process, partnering with several organizations and adding additional as the weeks go by.
If you have appliances to donate to the ReStore, a crib that needs to go Mary Queen of Angels, health care supplies for Bridgeway Domestic Violence Center, towels or blankets for Five Acres Animal Shelter or clothing for Renewed Treasures then 1SDS saves you from making multiple stops across St. Charles County. Even more, it prevents usable items from being thrown away when they’re given to the wrong organization.
“Just rolled this out with different organization so that we can make an impact together,” Mark Migneco, ReStore assistant manager, said. “Everybody that has come on board and helped each other and it has really started to take off. Within the last four-to-five months when donors come up to drop off and we notice other items they may have with them, we’ve let them know that we’re now a one stop and you can see them start to smile.”
The One Stop Donation Shop Program’s ripple effect across the county is wide. Another example is volunteers and workers from Community Living come to help sort clothes and do a variety of tasks.
“What we’re trying to do is just help our individuals find work in the community that is purposeful, and by partnering with the ReStore that has expanded greatly,” Joann Burpo of Community Living, said. “1SDS has allowed us to do more for those other nonprofits we are able to sort and disburse to organizations such as; Renewed Treasures, FISH, Helping Hand Me Downs, Cheap Street Thrift Store, and Goodwill. This link brings the volunteers and resources needed by each organization.”
So far over 14 truckloads of clothing and housewares have been distributed from 1SDS and nearly 200 mattresses have come through the warehouse being sent to organizations in need or the Mattress Man for recycling.
“Any where these donations can do some good, we are willing to partner,” Kehoe said. “There will never stop being a need just how we disperse it differently. There are plenty of organizations that need stuff.”
The Habitat St. Charles ReStore is open Wednesday-thru-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and donations are accepted at all times.
As the program grows, the need for volunteers increases. If you or someone you know is part of an organization in need or would like to donate or volunteer with the program, visit 1SDS.org.
“Sorting clothing is a huge help,” Kehoe said. “All sorts of abilities are needed.”
Kehoe stressed that Habitat St. Charles ReStore will continue its model of selling new and used building materials, furniture, and select home goods.
For more information, call 636-978-5712 or visit www.habitatstcharles.org.
CUTLINE: Submitted photo Representing the nonprofit partners Community Living, House of Zadok, 5 Acres Animal Shelter, Shoes & Hope, The Sharing Shed, and the Habitat St. Charles ReStore associated with the 1 Stop Donation Shop are (from left standing) Joann Burpo, Sue McKinney, Lori Kehoe, Ashley Leonard, Venus Nesbit, Joann Sweet, Little Naomi Nesbitt in the bin, Ron Nesbit, Linda Caplinger, Christy Weber, Sherry May, Brittany Warren and Mark Migneco. (From left seated) Scott Hertz, Jessica Cain, Kylie Podhorn, Michael Manis, Joe Farley and Drew Boursheski.