At the ReStore, we do more than just raise funds for the Habitat mission and get our customers great deals on home improvement items; we also actively engage with the community. The ReStore is one of the most publicly visible parts of our organization. The ReStore is open six days a week and has three locations, one in each county we serve – Marion, Hancock, and Hendricks. We certainly have our share of volunteer help from the community, but the ReStore space itself is more than just retail space, and most folks coming in to donate or shop may not realize this.
For example, the ReStore team is happy to be continuing a relationship we started last year with The Giving BackPack: a non-profit whose mission is to provide school supplies for students who can’t afford them. After qualifying by showing need from financial hardship, for a small restocking fee (about the price of a backpack), a student can get all their school supplies at no cost for the whole school year – up to four refills – through the program. I met with Cecil Collins, the CEO and founder of The Giving BackPack to discuss the partnership with the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
You started this program in Merrillville; what lead to you bring it to Indianapolis?
“Yes, we started in 2011 in Merrillville, and I moved for my job and wanted to start it again here in my new community.”
What impact have you seen so far in Indianapolis?
“We’ve really come to understand there is a lot of need here in Indianapolis. It’s coming in on a school-based level. Currently, we’re serving two schools and it will only grow from there. We’re really going for notoriety now: trying to get our name and the mission out there as much as possible.”
How has the partnership with Habitat been?
“Excellent. I couldn’t ask for more. Habitat has been open, accommodating, and overly-supportive. It’s easy, that’s it; it’s easy. I don’t have to worry about it, and the space at the ReStore is really perfect for our needs.”
What is the future of The Giving BackPack in 2017?
“We’re doing a car raffle now; we’ll hopefully raise funds for the school supply pantry by the end of the year and be able to expand into more schools. The partnership between The Giving BackPack and Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity has been huge for families we serve, and being able to join in helping the families Habitat already serves has been an honor.”
We at the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity ReStore are proud to partner with other community-based non-profit organizations that further serve the Habitat mission by providing resources essential to homeownership, like quality education.
Learn more about The Giving BackPack and how you can apply for their program.
For more information about how the ReStore partners with other organizations and aids the habitat mission, “Like” our pages on Facebook and stay tuned to this blog.