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History of the Habitat Resale Store (ReStore)

Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity (TBHFH) was formed in May of 1983 as a direct result of a Rotary Club community service project to insulate homes of needy families in Tryon. It was soon discovered that there were extensive needs for housing for the needy throughout the Polk County and neighboring Landrum, SC area. To address that need house Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity embarked on a project that has so far resulted in the building of 64 new homes and the renovation of twelve others.

The need for furnishings for the new homes grew, and in July of 1985 the idea for an outlet store for recycled furniture and appliances was spawned. This was the first resale store opened by a Habitat affiliate. The original store was located on Rutherford Street in Landrum.

In 1990, Janet and Tom Connell donated the store property at 132 North Trade Avenue on a five-year free lease. Subsequently, the Connell’s added the two adjacent store buildings to the first ones. Janet Connell is still a regular volunteer at the store. Later, in 2003, the volunteers rejuvenated the barn behind the store to provide additional space for the display of construction materials and Christmas decorations donated to the store.

The effort has been a huge success. Since it's inception the ReStore has been a major funding source for the ongoing construction of new homes. The Thermal Belt Habitat ReStore also helps make home improvements more affordable for community residents and it diverts many tons of material from the landfills each year.