A one-stop thrift shop

MARSHALL?- The ReStore in Marshall is going on its fifth year in town, but now a lot of people who didn’t even know it existed will have a chance to find out about it in its new location at 300 North U.S. Highway 59.

The store is one of about a dozen in Minnesota operated by Habitat for Humanity, a Christian-based organization focused on building and restoring homes for families in need.

“Habitat for Humanity is to help unfortunate people out in a home, or through a bad time,” said John Murphy, a member of Redwood River Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors.

ReStore had been moving into its new 8,800-square foot location all through January, reopened for business in February and had its official grand opening this past Saturday, according to Habitat spokesman Charlie Sanow.

“In a ReStore we resell items that people have used, and also items people have donated,” Sanow said. “One of the side benefits is all the stuff we keep out of the landfill.”

ReStore items include building and remodeling materials, furniture, plumbing and electrical fixtures and large and small appliances.

“We’re basically a one-stop thrift shop,” said ReStore manager Tom Ranfranz. “The only thing we don’t handle is clothing.”

ReStores stock comes from unsold end-of-year merchandise donated by retail outlets, manufactured goods with minor cosmetic defects and salvaged material from demolished buildings and left over from remodeling jobs. Donors get a receipt they can use for tax write-offs.

According to Ranfranz, building and remodeling materials from ReStore are sold for prices 40 to 80 percent lower than retail outlets. Ten percent of the profits go to International Habitat for Humanity to help with projects around the world. The rest stays in Marshall to help build or repair houses.

Habitat helps get people into houses they could not otherwise afford with no-interest loans and sweat equity for a down payment. Clients and volunteers donate their labor under the supervision of professional builders.