Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills will finally unveil its Rockingham ReStore Tuesday morning.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores sell donated materials to raise money to build affordable housing for families who otherwise may not be able to afford it. The Rockingham ReStore has been planned since late-2009, and was originally expected to be open around the beginning of the year.
Logistical difficulties with the building, a former tire shop in the Lowe’s Shopping Center, made a January opening impossible, and the date was pushed back throughout the spring and summer.
“There’s a lot that went into this, and everybody worked really hard to get this store open,” ReStore Manager Jo Ann Thurman said Friday. “We had to completely redo the electrical in the building, which was handled by Tim Peek Electric, and a lot of other things we didn’t necessarily anticipate.”
Thurman said the non-profit overcame the difficulties of getting the building ready, in large part, due to the efforts of volunteers Tom MacCallum and J.D. Heath, both of Rockingham.
“They’ve been the volunteers of the century,” Thurman said. “They’ve been here every day, and they’ve done everything we could have asked of them - even more than we ever would’ve asked.”
Sandhills Habitat officials hope to raise enough money to build two homes a year from the money it raises at the Rockingham ReStore.
“I am very excited that we are able to open this store and to serve Richmond County and the surrounding areas,” Sandhills Habitat Richmond County Area Manager Chris Carpenter said. “I am also proud of the hard work that our staff and volunteers have put in to making this Habitat ReStore possible.”
ReStore Assistant Manager Trey Robbins said he hopes customers will sense the excitement of the ReStore staff when they walk through the doors of the store.
“Just being excited is really the biggest thing we want them to feel (when they enter the store),” Robbins said. “We’re here to help people who need it, and we also hope everyone else will help them through donations and volunteering.”
Thurman explained there are still plenty of opportunities for volunteerism at the ReStore.
“We have about 10 to 12 committed volunteers, but really we could use about double that,” she said.
Volunteers are needed as cashier, appliance testers, people to unload donations and miscellaneous duties such as cleaning up in the parking lot or on the grounds and building maintenance.
In addition, the store will be taking donations during regular business hours, and on Mondays when the store is closed.
“If you have donations that are too big for you to get them here, you can call and schedule an appointment for us to come get them,” Thurman said.
She went on to explain all the kinks aren’t necessarily worked out, and the store is planning a grand opening later, but it will be open Tuesday.
“We wanted to get it open as soon as possible, because we know everybody is as excited to see the store open as we are,” Thurman said. “It may not be 100 percent ready, but we’ve had people coming to the store and asking us when we’ll be open - we had four or five this morning - so we really felt like the community wants to support us.”
The ReStore’s regular business hours will be Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment at other times to receive donations. The phone number at the Sandhills Habitat Rockingham ReStore is (910) 817-9576.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.