Habitat sales center a success

Group will thank community with Friday hot-dog cookout

The greatest challenge at the Habitat for Humanity sales center is the relentless task of rearranging the ever-changing merchandise inside the store.

"We constantly have to reconfigure our floor space and merchandise displays," said store manager Lynn Anderson.

But that's a good thing. Proceeds from the sale of donated items will ultimately land someone in a new or refurbished home, possibly by next summer. The Montezuma County Habitat for Humanity chapter opened the sales center in March to fund the endeavor.

"The main goal of opening this store was to raise funds for our first big project," said Anderson.

So far, so good. Anderson reports the center's first quarter has been hugely successful and the community's response has been great, both from donors and customers.

To thank the community, the Habitat for Humanity sales center will host a hot dog cookout on Friday, July 5. Free hot dogs and drinks will be served starting at 11 a.m. and continuing until the dogs are gone. The day also includes half off sales on sinks and light fixtures.

"We just want to show our appreciation to the community for helping make our first quarter such a success," Lynn said.

A Habitat for Humanity volunteer for the last two years, Anderson said the organization doesn't provide a handout, but rather a hand up. Recipients are required to put in up to 500 hours of their own sweat equity in constructing or refurbishing a home.

"It's reminiscent of the old pioneer barn building," she explained. "The community helps each other."

Anderson said she was attracted to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity because the recipient is required to participate, which helps to preserve their dignity and pride.

The local Habitat chapter constantly is seeking new donations to stock the sales center, and they are also seeking volunteers to willingly and enthusiastically serve on its board of directors.

Anyone committed to the organization's mission is encouraged, but the board could use some specialized expertise from construction, mortgage, legal and social work professionals.

"More importantly, we are still looking for people who need help with construction projects on their homes," Lynn said. "We have volunteers ready to work."

To qualify for Habitat home-rehabilittion help, households must earn 60 percent or less of the Montezuma County median income. Potential recipients must own the home and agree to repay material cost, even if it's only $25 per month, Lynn said.

Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the sales center is located at 6786 Highway 160/491, next to Belt Salvage.

The store serves three functions: fundraising for new homes, affordable shopping for consumers, and removing items destined for the landfill. Donations to Habitat for Humanity are tax deductible.

For a complete list of desirable and unacceptable items, visit www.habitatmontezuma.org.