Creating the ReStore Model
The first ReStore opened in 1991 in Winnipeg, Canada as a sustainable way for Habitat for Humanity to raise money in collaboration with community members to build more decent and affordable housing. Since the success of this ReStore, the concept exploded across the United States.
The ReStore's Roots in McLean County
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. Still mostly volunteer-run, the Bloomington ReStore has brought in over $3.3 million on behalf of Habitat for Humanity of McLean County as of 2017. By covering such a large percentage of Habitat for Humanity of McLean County's operating costs, Habitat donors can feel confident that their money is going directly to building homes with partner families and improving the community.
Construction for 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.