Story of the “ReStore” Concept
The first ReStore in the U.S. was started in 1993 in Austin, Texas as a way for Habitat for Humanity to raise money to build more decent and affordable housing. This store was a big success and the concept exploded across the United States.
Founding of the Bloomington ReStore
In the late 1990s, an all-volunteer crew used a small warehouse on Adelaide Street in Normal to collect and sell donated items several mornings a month, when the weather permitted. (The building was unheated and lacked plumbing.)
In 2009, the operations moved out of the old warehouse and into its current ReStore location on West Washington in Bloomington. As of 2016, the Bloomington ReStore has provided over $2.7 million to Habitat for Humanity of McLean County. By covering 91.5% of Habitat for Humanity of McLean County's administrative costs, donors can feel confident that their money is going directly to building homes and improving the community.
Currently, the ReStore ReNewal is underway, bringing more space, an improved donor and shopper experience, and the potential to raise even more funds for Habitat's work.