Lake Norman & Mooresville

ReStores aren't just for building materials

In the year since the Mooresville ReStore opened, it has raised more than $500,000, helped build new homes in Guatemala and helped pay for two townhomes in Mooresville.

M.C. Laney, director of the Mooresville and Cornelius ReStores, believes the nonprofit - an arm of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity - can do even more if the public gets more involved.

"At the end of the year, de-clutter and simplify," said Laney. "If you have something you haven't used in a while, maybe it's a good time to find it a new home.

"You're potentially making a difference in someone's life. Every donation has the potential to change."

The ReStores in Mooresville and Cornelius take donations and sell them at a discounted price.

Ten percent of the profits goes toward Habitat projects in Guatemala. The rest of the money helps to keep the stores running and pays for new Habitat homes in the Lake Norman area.

Mary Gibbs, manager of the Mooresville ReStore, said one primary goal for the coming year will be to increase awareness of what the ReStore does.

"People don't know that we have the variety we do," she said. "They think we just sell construction materials."

ReStores sell an array of items, from clothing to furniture to paint.

"It's been a great first year, but I'd like to see us getting more donations," said Gibbs.

Gibbs said the store needs more furniture and household appliances. Laney said both stores could use more donations of home décor items and building materials.

Both Gibbs and Laney said they were pleased with the store's first year.

Laney said the two Lake Norman-area ReStores were able to keep about 1,000 tons of material out of landfills by reselling items that might have been thrown away.

"When we look around the store, every item has been donated. All these items had the potential to end up in a landfill, and instead they're being sold and given a new life," said Laney.

And more than 5,000 people purchased an item from one of the ReStores in the last year.

"We've received such wonderful support. It's really neat when we have new people come in," said Laney. "And with some people, we're on their daily shopping list.

"The people in Mooresville have really opened their arms to us. It's a really generous community."