MEDINA — Jerry Barthelemy started volunteering for Habitat for Humanity of Medina County about five years ago and has helped build two homes for the organization.
The Litchfield Township resident had trouble reaching project sites when Habitat began venturing to far sections of the county, so he joined the volunteer staff at Habitat’s ReStore at 342 E. Smith Road, Medina.
On Saturday, the store celebrated six years of business.
“I like the philosophy of Habitat, the idea of giving people a hand up, not a handout,” said Barthelemy, assistant manager at ReStore. “I can help my neighbors improve their lives. And I can see where my efforts go — it’s not just giving to a charity without knowing what happens to my money.”
Medina’s ReStore, one of more than 800 in the United States, accepts donated power tools, garden supplies, windows, doors, cabinets, sinks, appliances, flooring, furniture — and just about anything else related to a home — and sells items at reduced prices.
The revenues pay for Habitat’s homebuilding projects.
Store manager Dan Shumaker said 60 percent to 70 percent of his merchandise is brand new. Some comes from businesses that are overstocked. ReStore typically sells these items at about half the regular retail prices.
“We keep material out of the landfill, make it affordable for customers, the donations are tax-deductible, and we build homes,” Shumaker said. “Everybody wins.”
ReStore in Medina, which is only open Saturdays, originally opened about 11 years ago in Chippewa Lake. It’s now in its third and largest location — stretching more than 28,000 square feet.
Shumaker said the Medina ReStore is one of 80 ReStores with all-volunteer staffs.
“Of the 80, we’re among the top five most-profitable and successful,” Shumaker said.
Shumaker has volunteered with Habitat for 14 years, after finishing a 30-year business career.
“I just wanted to do something I enjoy,” Shumaker said. “I’m glad I can give back in this fashion.”
One customer Saturday was Michael Bond, a contractor and Medina resident. He was making his second visit to ReStore, and was looking at solid maple transition stops for flooring. The cost was $10 a strip.
“These would cost $60 to $80 anywhere else,” Bond said.
Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4065.