Both Habitat for Humanity ReStores are jam-packed.
So are two extra warehouses.
But there was no way that Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Amanda Brewer was going to say no when Pella, which is moving, wanted to donate five truckloads of new windows worth thousands of dollars.
“We couldn’t miss the opportunity,” she said.
The same with a pallet of electrical supplies from Omaha Electric.
Brewer said Habitat made the difficult decision to temporarily close its two Omaha stores to protect workers and customers from contracting COVID-19. Habitat is determined to keep paying those workers. Funds raised by the stores also help finance its mission, which is building homes for those in need.
Businesses such as Pella and Omaha Electric are still donating items despite the pandemic. So are contractors, who carefully remove items from homes so they can be used again.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people across the Omaha area are turning to DIY projects to fill the downtime while sheltering in place.
“That’s why it’s extra crushing we’re not open,” Brewer said. “I think a lot of people do want to do home improvement.”
Brewer said that while the stores are closed, customers can still shop for items online at omahahabitatrestore.org/shop. And there is a lot to choose from, she said.
Cabinets, furniture, planters, dressers, dining room tables and a garbage disposal. Items upcycled by volunteers to look new again.
Even hammocks donated by Hayneedle when it cleaned out its warehouse. Plus, all those windows.
Habitat hopes to open its stores once the number of cases in Douglas County has been in decline for two weeks.
“We want the community to know Habitat ReStore is still here, so people can make affordable home improvements,” Brewer said. “They will just need to go online to shop.”
Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.
"Every place there could be people, there seemed to be people," Phil Rooney, spokesman for the Douglas County Health Department, said of his weekend drive along Omaha streets. "People need to continue social distancing, and it doesn't appear that they are, in a nutshell."