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Brainerd ReStore 'alive and well' in wake of St. Cloud closure

The recent closure of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location in St. Cloud had many in the community concerned about the Brainerd location--but it's "alive and well," organizers said.

The recent closure of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location in St. Cloud had many in the community concerned about the Brainerd location-but it's "alive and well," organizers said.

The retail store located at 1110 Wright St. is run by the nonprofit and sells donated new and used building materials.

"All of us at Brainerd Habitat for Humanity are saddened by the closure of the St. Cloud Habitat store, which is also known as the Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity ReStore, but welcome St. Cloud ReStore's customers to try us in Brainerd, just an hour north on good highways," a Facebook post on the organization's page stated.

A statement on Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity's website noted the closure was for financial reasons.

"ReStore was set up to be a fundraiser for Habitat to build houses, but it did not yield the return-on-investment we hoped it would to propel Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity's mission as a nonprofit organization," the website stated.

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Brainerd ReStore sales support the organization's ongoing home builds. Last year, Brainerd ReStore profits were sufficient to build three Habitat homes. In Brainerd alone, Habitat is in the closing construction stages of its first veteran's build and recently laid the foundation for a new Habitat build in Brainerd's Southeast neighborhood.

The Brainerd ReStore has limited paid staff. The store itself, the pick-up service and the deconstruction/salvage program are operated almost entirely by volunteers. With the onset of fall, the busiest time of year, the Brainerd ReStore could use extra hands to help pick up donations, to keep the store clean and organized, to greet drive-up donors and to unload their gifts into the store, and to help customers from the front desk to the back door.

The Brainerd ReStore is open to the public 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays. The Restore is closed to the public Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but the store is active Mondays and Tuesdays with staff and volunteers readying the store for the public's arrival and pick-ups of donated items too large for donors to bring to the Restore.

The ReStore's inventory changes daily. The store accepts things like furniture, cabinets, appliances, doors, windows, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, mirrors, picture frames, desks, fireplace mantles, canoes, molding, bi-folds and more.

Those interested in volunteering for Habitat can call volunteer coordinator Karen Skarolid at 218-454-7020 or email her at volcoord@lakesareahabitat.org .

For more information, call the ReStore director, Mary Johnson at 218-454-7021 or at Mary.Zimmermann@lakesareahabitat.org , or call the ReStore itself at 218-454-8517.

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