Linda Hartwig is manager of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore at 480 Youngstown-Poland Road, Struthers, where low-income residents of the Valley can purchase many new and used items at discounted prices. The store has been operating since May 1, 2008. Photo by: Madelyn P. Hastings | The Vindicator
By Sean Barron
Special to The Vindicator
For a while, Joe McCabe spent a lot of time at home depressed due to having to deal with scleroderma.
About four years ago, however, his life received a positive spark.
“This place has helped me tremendously,” McCabe said, referring to ReStore, Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County, a business run by the local Habitat chapter.
McCabe, a former firefighter, volunteers at least five days a week at ReStore, 480 Youngstown-Poland Road, where he repairs and rehabilitates tape recorders, TVs, DVD players, videocassette recorders and a host of other electronics devices to be sold at discounted prices.
McCabe’s knowledge and love of electronics — as well as his reputation — have not missed the attention of customers, said Linda Hartwig, ReStore’s manager.
Hartwig spoke recently about the business, which opened May 1, 2008, and where many residents of the Valley are able to purchase discounted new and used building materials, furniture, home appliances, mattresses, linens, electronics and glassware.
ReStore, which continues to grow each year, also has a sporting-goods depart-ment, paint and wallpaper supplies, medical equipment, doors and cabinets.
In addition, an outdoor yard has for sale siding, roofing equipment, bricks, cinder blocks and other merchandise.
“Appliances are a huge need in the community,” she explained. “They fly out the door. We get a lot of calls about refrigerators, stoves and washers and dryers.”
IF YOU GO
What: ReStore, Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County.
Where: 480 Youngstown-Poland Road, Struthers, just south of Midlothian Boulevard.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Hours to drop off donations are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
ReStore’s main goals are to support the Habitat for Humanity ministry and recycle materials such as cellphones, computers, scrap metal and numerous other products from homes and businesses, Hartwig continued.
“The last place for any item is the trash,” she added.
ReStore has 12 to 18 volunteers, many of whom evaluate, clean and price donated merchandise before placing items in the correct departments for sale, Hartwig explained.
The business also has one full-time employee and three part-timers, including Petrina Armstrong of Struthers, who recently was hired as a part-time cashier.
Armstrong, who worked five years at the Boardman Target store before joining ReStore, said giving back to the community is a top reward of her position.
“It’s nice to know a lot of people here you’re able to help,” she said.
Hartwig also expressed gratitude toward those who donate to the business and said she deeply appreciates the community support.
“One of the biggest things I hear from customers is, ‘Thank you, I needed you,’” she said. “We [also] could not do it without our donors. I can’t express enough thanks for what they’ve done for us.”