Frost Valley YMCA Campers Give Habitat’s ReStore a Week of Work
Columbia County Habitat’s ReStore recently hosted an outstanding group of campers from the Frost Valley YMCA Camp in Ulster County. The six high school students and two Frost Valley environmental educators volunteered at the ReStore for more than 250 hours in late July. As part of their 2-week experience with Frost Valley, they camped out at Taconic State Park for eight days and worked at the ReStore for five days.
“We were very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Frost Valley’s community service program,” Marcia Witte, manager of the ReStore, said. “These kids were so energetic and eager to know all about the ReStore, and they were ready, willing and able to do whatever needed to be done.”
Brenda Adams, Habitat’s Executive Director, added, “It was a real treat to meet these enthusiastic young people. They asked wonderful questions, worked very hard and learned a lot while making a real contribution to the ReStore.”
The team was led by Tom Van Duyne, an environmental educator from upstate New York, and Addie Benthien, a resident of Basking Ridge, NJ and a personal trainer. The campers were Zoe Levine, 16, from Brooklyn, who attends high school in Soho; Joyce Kagan, 15, from Staten Island, who’ll be a junior at The Harbor School on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor; Tom Doddo, 16, who lives in South Orange, NJ and will be a senior at Columbia High School there; Lily Mantel, 16, from Manhattan, who’ll be a junior at Baruch College Campus High School; and the Letford sisters from Brooklyn. Afiya Leford, 17, will be a senior at Medgar Evers College Prep, and Gabrielle, 15, will be a sophomore at St. Edmund’s High School.
According to Team Leader Van Duyne, the goal of the Frost Valley program was to encourage young people to engage with their communities through volunteering. “This was a great experience for these kids. They gained practical skills and exchanged ideas with each other and the ReStore’s regular volunteers. They really loved working in the store,” he said.
Berkshire Bankers Give a Day to Habitat’s ReStore
Three Berkshire Bank employees from different branches in Columbia County gave a day to Habitat’s ReStore in Hudson on June 11. Berkshire Bank encourages its employees to support community organizations through volunteer work, and gives staff time off to do so.
ReStore Manager Marcia Witte expressed her appreciation for the time and energy the Berkshire Bankers contributed, adding that “two of the volunteers brought their daughters, so we had a grand crew of five very hardworking women. It was a super-productive day and lots of fun, too.”
The very generous Berkshire Bank staff who volunteered were Lu Holden, from the bank’s Chatham branch, and her daughter Sarah; Jen Balacic from the Hudson office; and Sandy Charest and her daughter Kelly. Sandy works at the bank’s New Lebanon branch.
The Columbia County Habitat ReStore sells discounted new and gently-used furniture, large appliances, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, doors, windows and other household goods that have been donated by area residents and businesses. Last year, volunteers gave more than 4500 hours to the ReStore, which depends on the generosity of individuals, community organizations and companies like Berkshire Bank to operate the business. More than 10,000 savvy shoppers visit the ReStore annually. Customers find great values, as well as satisfaction in knowing that they’re supporting affordable housing and keeping re-usable material out of landfills. All of the ReStore’s proceeds support Habitat’s construction programs.
The ReStore is open for shopping on Thursdays from 2 to 6 and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 5. Check the ReStore’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ReStoreHudson for the newest and latest merchandise. Donations can be made during store hours and by appointment during the week. For more information about the ReStore, including volunteer opportunities, visit Habitat’s website at columbiacountyhabitat.org or call 518.828.0892, Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 to 5.
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Habitat ReStore Salutes Its Fab Five of the Road
Every day is Earth Day at Columbia County Habitat’s ReStore, where savvy shoppers can find new and gently-used furniture, large appliances, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, building materials, lighting and much more. All ReStore merchandise has been donated by area residents and businesses, giving renewed life to goods that would otherwise go into landfills. The ReStore’s proceeds support Habitat’s construction program, building affordable housing for local working families.
As part of ReStore’s Earth Day celebration, ReStore Manager Marcia Witte puts the spotlight on the five volunteers who pick up donations from near and far: Nick Ertle, Jon and Paul Mossman, Bill Schneider and Kathy Schober. “The ReStore depends on the generosity of our community of donors,” Witte notes. “Furniture, large appliances and bath and kitchen cabinets are our top three sellers, and most people don’t have the means to get big, heavy items to us. This is where our amazing driving team comes in. Their consistent commitment of time, combined with their flexibility, strength and good humor, week in and week out, has enabled the ReStore to expand its inventory and increase sales dramatically.”
Nick Ertle, an Elizaville resident, is a General Electric Energy Application Consulting Leader who works from home. GE encourages its employees to volunteer in their communities, and Nick’s flexible work schedule allows him to volunteer for the ReStore on a regular weekly basis. Jon Mossman, a 2014 graduate of Siena College, volunteered for six productive months as a ReStore driver and helper before recently accepting a transportation job with the Columbia County Department of Social Services. Jon lives in Claverack and hopes to have a career in law enforcement.
Paul Mossman, Jon’s father and also a Claverack resident, retired last year as Commissioner of the Columbia County Department of Social Services. Paul’s career in public service spanned 30 years, including an early stint as a teacher. Bill Schneider of Stuyvesant retired in 2014 as Principal of the Ichabod Crane High School, a position he held for 28 years. Paul and Bill are the Dynamic Duo of Habitat drivers and have become serious spotters of great donations for the ReStore.
Kathy Schober, a retired nurse from North Hillsdale, is the lone woman in the ReStore drivers’ corps. Eager to keep her mind and body active in retirement, Kathy became involved in the ReStore through her daughter, Christina, who serves on the Board of Habitat.
The ReStore attracts more than 10,000 visitors every year. ReStore volunteers contribute 4500 hours of their time and talents to run the business. To learn more about the ReStore and/or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat’s website at www.columbiacountyhabitat.org or call Marcia Witte, Tuesday through Saturday, at 518.828.0892.
What is the ReStore?
Columbia County Habitat’s ReStore sells new and gently-used goods and materials that have been donated by area residents and businesses. A favorite destination for savvy shoppers, the ReStore encourages re-use and recycling while generating revenue that supports Habitat’s affordable housing construction program. The ReStore keeps usable items out of landfills and offers buyers great bargains. More than 10,000 shoppers visit our ReStore in Hudson every year.
How do I donate to the ReStore?
It’s easy! You can deliver your goods for donation directly to the ReStore Tuesdays through Saturdays. Please call ahead to check that the items you’d like to donate can be accepted and that someone will be available to assist with your delivery. For larger items that you can’t bring in, call the ReStore office to discuss your proposed donation and to schedule a date and time for our volunteers to pick up your items. We provide completed donation forms for your use in tax reporting.
What goods & materials does the ReStore accept & sell?
The ReStore is delighted to accept the following donated items for sale to our customers:
- Furniture (un-upholstered)
- Large appliances (except dishwashers) in good working condition
- Kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- New/unused building materials, lumber, insulation and supplies
- Electrical, plumbing, flooring, roofing and carpentry supplies
- Light fixtures and lamps
- Solid wooden doors and double-glazed windows
- Major tools and equipment (except automotive and non-working power tools)
- Selected housewares, including new and gently-used small appliances
In addition, the ReStore often accepts other unique items, such as the recently-donated clawfoot tub, pottery wheel, Victorian room divide and painting collection. Again, please call ahead to make sure that your proposed donation can be accepted.
What do ReStore volunteers do?
The ReStore offers a friendly, cooperative environment for both volunteers and shoppers. Volunteers keep the store stocked, clean, well-organized and functioning efficiently and professionally.
Volunteers are needed Tuesdays through Saturdays to help pick up, sort and prepare donated merchandise, price goods, re-stock and tidy shelves and stage the sales floor. During store hours, volunteers assist shoppers. Volunteers also participate in the ReStore’s social media efforts, community outreach activities and special events.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and are welcome to work on a regularly-scheduled basis, occasionally or as a one-time experience.
How do I volunteer at the ReStore?
The ReStore’s successful operations depend on our volunteers. Click here to download a Volunteer Registration Form. You can check out the many areas of ReStore operations in which volunteers contribute their support and indicate your areas of interest. Or contact Marcia Witte, our ReStore Manager, for more information at email@example.com or 518.828.0892, Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Let us hear from you to talk about joining our growing ReStore team! The ReStore really rocks!!