Habitat store opens

LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director John Sisson stands at the counter of his organization’s new resell store in LaGrange. Habitat will accepted donations of good used building materials like windows, doors, cabinets and countertops and resell those to people looking for a bargain.

LAGRANGE — If you’re looking for a really good deal on a slightly used but otherwise in really great shape window, see John.

If you’ve been hunting for a great price on a set of barely used kitchen cabinets, then you need to talk to John.

And if you’re hoping to save a bunch of money on a set of office chairs, well, then, by all means, you really need to give John a call.

John in this case, is John Sisson, the executive director of the LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity. And today, Sisson is celebrating the grand opening of the local habitat chapter’s new resale store, located at 205 East Wayne St. in LaGrange.

The store is filled with gently used doors, windows, countertops, cabinets, recliners, desk chairs, table chairs, shower fixtures, kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures and kitchen sinks, all donated to Habitat by area businesses, home builders and homeowners.

“We’ve been getting a lot of donations,” Sisson said.

Habitat officially moved into the building last July and it bought the building this spring. Sisson said once he started asking for donations, the community responded.

“I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t get a call from someone who has something they want to donate,” he said.

Sisson said local building materials suppliers have been very generous to Habitat, one donating dozens of doors that were once showroom floor models. Homeowners rehabbing their homes also have been good to Habitat, donating used windows, doors, and cabinets.

“It’s almost nonstop,” he said of the flow of donations. “We just picked up another load of material this morning.”

The way it works, those gently used items go on display at the Habitat store, and customers, hoping to save a little money on home building supplies, purchase what they want. Most of the materials offered are at half the price of what similar items would cost brand new. The money the store raises will help fund Habitat’s mission of building affordable housing for LaGrange County families in need.

“We’re looking for stuff that still has a lot of life in it. Maybe someone wanted a new look for their kitchen cabinets or maybe they wanted to upgrade their home’s windows. They donate that stuff to us. It’s still a good product, maybe something that someone else can use,” Sisson said.

He said he hopes the store will help Habitat reach a new audience, people who might not have been aware of the group’s work building new homes.

“I think we’re going to reach another base of people. The big thing is we’re getting our name out there,” Sisson said. “Hopefully, the more money we make off the store, the more homes we can build.”

Sisson added that he hopes the more money the store raises, the less Habitat will have to depend on annual fundraising events to raise the money the nonprofit organization needs to fund its core mission.

The store celebrates its grand opening today, and will be open each Thursday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. If more volunteers come forward, Sisson said he’s like to see the store’s hours expanded.

“Our ultimate goal is to be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays,” he explained.

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