When students at K-State first move into their house, apartment, residence hall or greek house, they often find themselves in need of some furniture. When they encounter this issue, many students go to superstores such as Wal-Mart or Target to fulfill their furnishing needs. Meanwhile, students on a budget often settle for Craigslist listings or garage sale finds.
Yet there is an untapped resource that is less known across the K-State community that provides furniture and appliances at a reasonable price — the Manhattan Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, located at 2711 Amherst Ave.
ReStore is a facility that sells reusable furniture, appliances and construction and home improvement materials to the public. These goods are often donated by Manhattan residents and are usually resold at a 50 to 70 percent discount of their retail value.
The purpose of ReStore is to provide an environmentally-responsible way to recycle building items as well as to help the local community.
“Habitat ReStore was started a few years ago in the community as a way to save items from the landfill,” said Shehanna Adams, executive director of the Manhattan Area of Habitat For Humanity. “It’s a good way to give back to the community by selling items at a fraction of the retail cost.”
Whether people are looking to furnish their homes or organize a huge housing project, ReStore has a wide range of items at a fraction of the cost of most other stores.
“We have an over 9,000-square-foot warehouse,” Adams said. “We have everything here from new and used building materials, to appliances, furnitures, cabinetry, flooring, windows, doors, etc.”
Even faculty at K-State, such as Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, instructor of management, has taken advantage of the extensive selection at ReStore to help improve her home.
“I have brought everything from electrical to woodworking appliances and tile,” said Whitney-Bammerlin. “I am quite satisfied with my purchases.”
When products are donated to ReStore, workers clean and polish all of the donated goods so that they are ready to be purchased. Since Habitat for Humanity and ReStore are nonprofit organizations, they often look for volunteers to help maintain the store as well as manage the items. Student volunteers commonly help ReStore to fill community service hours or class requirements.
“We had a list of companies that needed consulting and I chose Habitat for Humanity because it sounded interesting and I didn’t really know too much about it,” said Eric Swenson, senior in entrepreneurship. “I’ve enjoyed it. I get to meet people and everyone’s happy.”
Leadership groups through the School of Leadership Studies also have been known to choose Habitat for Humanity as their service-learning project due to its many project opportunities and its general purpose.
“I chose to work with Habitat for Humanity because I believe in what they do for the Manhattan community and also across the world,” said Teryn Greer, junior in family studies and human services. “Our plan is to increase awareness across Manhattan about the ReStore and other opportunities available through this organization.”
Greer and her leadership group plan to help promote the ReStore on campus, assist ReStore employees with their duties, volunteer time at the store and pick up aluminum recycling bins that are located at the middle school and high school in Manhattan.
For students, this facility is a cheaper alternative to buying furniture while still allowing them to improve their homes.
“As a college student, I know that money is hard to come by, and ReStore is a great opportunity to buy the necessary items while working with a tight budget,” Greer said. “This is beneficial to anyone who is looking to purchase these products at a reasonable price while shopping locally.”
The ReStore center is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays as well as 8 a.m. to noon every first and third Saturday of the month. For more information on ReStore and Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at mahfh.org or the “Manhattan Area Habitat for Humanity and Restore” Facebook page.