Happy place all around

There’s a certain kind of synchronicity that happens when good homes grow out of the generosity of good people.

Let’s say you’re renovating, and you want materials removed from your house to make way for new, but the materials are still in excellent condition. You direct your renovator to give them to one of the Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and you receive a tax receipt.

At the ReStores, more good people buy them. They go into another good home. Proceeds from sales at ReStores are used to build further good homes for yet more good people.

Donna Hicks likes this circle of “good”. Donna is the Chief Executive Officer of National Capital Region Habitat for Humanity. She says she enjoys her job because she is involved in the many levels that contribute to decent shelter and sense of fulfillment.

Within the ReStore levels are more good people. The two Ottawa ReStores, run by Myrna Beattie, have a small staff but many dedicated volunteers.

Donna Hicks Habitat NCR CEO Headshot

These volunteers commit to certain hours on certain days every week. They might be retired people who give their time as greeters. They might be some of the Habitat families who donate work in return for affordable new homes. And there are volunteers sent by the courts to do community service hours. Many of these are young people with offenses such as speeding. They learn about customer service.

Everyone has something to offer to a ReStore. They can see the results of their efforts.

“It’s a happy place to be,” says Donna, who admits she never works fewer than 60 hours a week.

You can find the two Ottawa ReStores at 2379 Walkley Rd (at St. Laurent), and at 7 Enterprise Ave.

The stores stock a large variety of second-hand or new/never-used building materials, including light fixtures, tiles, laminate, wood and moldings, doors and windows (many end-of-line windows from Home Depot and window manufacturers); kitchen cabinets, bathtubs, sinks and toilets. Materials are often perfect for an entrance hall, a small bathroom or a shower.

Just recently, says Donna, someone donated 560 sq ft. of marble. They had bought it for their home but didn’t like it.

“Euro Tile & Stone on Belfast Road also donates a lot of materials,” she adds.

2012 Build King St Carleton Place

She says highly-skilled professional renovators frequently donate several hours to a job.

“They can give one day and make a huge difference.” She explains some will drop everything and come if they’re needed on a project.

One example is Mike Miller of M.A. Miller and the Boys in Carleton Place. She says he’ll send a whole team if asked.

Last year he offered all his crews for a project. She recalls how they framed a house in one day plus a few hours the next morning.

The ReStores are always looking for good used materials. They will pick up large items. The website (www.habitatncr.com ) lists what they cannot accept. They suggest you call before donating: 613-225-8400 or 613-744-7769.