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Program to encourage ReStore donations

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Hardin County serves as pilot for possible statewide emphasis

By Amber Coulter

A new partnership is planned to help build more houses for community members in need.

The Hardin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore announced the launch of its Operation ReStoration program. The program is based on accepting donations from regional real estate professionals and companies for the ReStore on South Wilson Road between Radcliff and Elizabethtown.

The professionals can donate home goods left behind after families move to reduce waste and increase the number of items for sale at the store.

The store accepts donations of serviceable items and resells them to raise money to build affordable homes for families in need. Donations are tax deductible.

It has taken virtually all items except clothing and bedding since being established.

The program is meant to encourage those in the real estate business to take advantage of the option by calling ReStore volunteers to pick up donated items to receive a tax deduction, said Larry Mengel, Habitat board member and former executive director who helped launch the program.

The program also will keep usable items out of landfills, he said.

“Nobody loses in this,” he said.

The Hardin County ReStore raised enough money last year to build one home, and volunteers hope it brings in more money this year, Mengel said.

“Every nickel that we make selling this stuff goes into building Habitat houses,” he said.

Operation ReStoration was organized at the state level to encourage donations from real estate businesses, especially from stagers. Stagers often bring in furniture and accessories to best show a house and then dispose of those items after the home is sold, Mengel said.

“I decided that we would kind of use Hardin County as a test case,” he said.

Hardin and Jessamine counties plan to put the program into effect. It will be used by Habitat chapters across the state if successful, Mengel said.

Mengel plans to begin spreading the word about the new program and giving fliers to area business involved in property sales.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.