Pre-demos help Sussex County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Pictured are (l-r) ReStore volunteers Chad Miller, Larry Whitten, Mike Ohr , Dave Zorb, Frank Roberts, Ron Baker and Jack Hilbeck. Not pictured is Skip Smith. SOURCE SUBMITTED
March 25, 2013

The Sussex County Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a resale store, has many opportunities for the community to help Sussex County residents in need. The community can donate, shop, volunteer and now go green while raising green. In September 2010, the ReStore added one more way to help build homes for neighbors in need, which Sussex Habitat refers to as pre-demos.

Pre-demos come about when a team of ReStore volunteers goes to a home slated for demolition to remove items for reuse. Such items include cabinets, windows, doors, light fixtures and any other reusable material that can be sold at the ReStore. All proceeds go toward the SCHFH mission of seeking to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Pre-demos have become so successful that in less than three years, the ReStore has completed 49 projects. These projects could not have been completed without volunteers who love serving their community.

Pete Brockstedt of Del-Brock Builders in Rehoboth Beach said, “I recently had the honor and privilege to again work with Sussex County Habitat for Humanity. As part of a development project, we recently demolished an existing home - something that brings to mind the less fortunate, especially those that have inadequate housing or none at all. Through the hard work of the Habitat ReStore volunteers, reusable parts of the home were removed for future use.

“Many hours, often in adverse weather conditions, were spent removing windows, doors, cabinets, fixtures and other items that can be used in other homes. Habitat for Humanity efforts, primarily directed toward the less fortunate and those in need, and the commitment of its volunteers, are amazing. It was a pleasure to see them in action and assist in their efforts. We should all be grateful for their service to this community - I know I am. Thank you.”

Pre-demo projects benefit everyone. ReStore provides the homeowner with a tax receipt. The contractor or builder will benefit as Habitat's team of volunteers comes to the jobsite free of charge to remove reusable material, saving labor and disposal fees. The environment benefits by reuse of building materials. The shopper benefits by getting building supplies at deep discounts and helping the future homeowner of a SCHFH-built home. For every three square feet of salvaged material, one square foot of new construction can be built.

The SCHFH ReStore has a dedicated team of volunteers specifically for pre-demos.  “I love when we get the honor of going out on a pre-demolition, because I know the benefit will not only be for Habitat for Humanity, but will ripple out to impact our thoughtful donors, contractors, dedicated shoppers, partner families, and the environment in a huge way. The ReStore is truly the embodiment of the recycle theory in its grandest form. By giving used items a second chance, it provides a viable alternative to an already overstuffed landfill. The pre-demolitions are yet another way the ReStore is actively reversing the negative impact of waste on the environment while simultaneously giving back to the community," said AshLeigh Martz, an AmeriCorps member and retail operations coordinator for the ReStore.

“I moved to Delaware three years ago, am recently retired, and once I settled in I found myself with too much spare time on my hands. Then I learned about Habitat for Humanity ReStore and now one to two days I volunteer my time for a great cause. I get to work with great people; I am giving back to the community, and I am now living life to the maximum and loving being part of lower, slower Delaware,” said Frank Roberts, a ReStore volunteer from Lewes.

In anticipation of Habitat's 50th pre-demo, Kara Kattau, another AmeriCorps member at the ReStore, said, “What an amazing accomplishment to reach 49 pre-demos in such a short period of time. It demonstrates how important the SCHFH mission and helping the environment are to the residents of Sussex County.”

For more information on pre-demos, volunteering, donating or to shop, call the ReStore at 302-855-1156 or visit the store from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 107 Depot St., Georgetown near the railroad tracks. Go to for information. Follow on Facebook at ReStore of Sussex County Habitat.

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