The original article was published in the July Habitat ReStore newsletter:
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast had an incredible need to meet in their community. They got to work building both homes and capacity in order to serve more families. After almost ten years of hurricane recovery, they had a highly productive building program and decided to supplement their income with a ReStore.
“We could not have opened without an affiliate staff so excited to get their ReStore – they jumped in to help at every opporutnity,” said Manager, Wes Griffin. The ReStore of the Mississippi Gulf Coast building used to be a Volkswagen dealership, which had been vacant since Hurricane Katrina. The Habitat Mississippi Gulf Coast construction staff finished the maojrity of the building up-fits by March, and the ReStore team spent the few weeks until opening transporting donations from te off-site storage, getting them ready to sell and learning about each other.
“Fortunately, with ReStores all over the Gulf Coast, we found a community already somewhat familiar with the ReStore donations model and open to our many (pleading) requests! Just one month out from Grand Opening, our 16ft box truck was running four days a week. We aren’t purchasing any product, so that’s huge!” said Griffin.
Despite concerns about opening on Easter weekend, the Habitat ReStore Mississipi Gulf Coast opened with a bang on April 15th. They had 182 people lined up waiting to get in, and sales for the day were almost $21,000. “We had great weather, a small group of volunteers from the local Air Force base, Carribean and BBQ food trucks, and iHeartRadio remote broadcast in the moring, live music in the afternoon and – of course – killer deals all day,” commented Griffin. He noted that they could have used a few more shopping carts on grand opening to accomodate the turnout, but everything else went quite smoothly. It was an all-around success!
Congratulations to Habitat Mississippi Gulf Coast and their team on an exciting new ReStore!