Beginning November 5, all three stores will be open Mondays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Yes, our stores will be open 6 days a week – Monday through Saturday – beginning Monday, November 5.
Archive for the ‘Beyond the ReStore’ Category
Serving Up Style: Designers Fighting Lupus is Portland’s premier design event. Each year, prominent design teams are invited to create fantastic, stunning, and whimsical dining environments for a four-day showcase during the Portland Fall Home & Garden Show. Serving Up Style culminates with a fundraiser gala, auction, and awards ceremony. All proceeds from the event benefit the lupus awareness and service initiatives of Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus.
Getting selected to participate in this event is an honor. Angie Morse, owner of The Room Stylers, Anne Runde of Anne Runde Interiors and Chana Coleman of Everyday Styling – the talented design team that created the ReStore’s fabulous living room setting for last year’s Spring Home and Garden Show – enlisted the ReStore to help create their entry for Serving Up Style.
The Room Stylers’ entry is titled “Nature’s Sky Box — where city chic meets rural rustic.” The designers wanted to capture the vibe and essence of what makes Portland such a cool place to live. They started with green living (in this case, repurposed pallet boards used to create a planter box and benches, reclaimed decking and trellis materials – constructed by Alex and Mark from the Washington County ReStore – LED lighting (for 85% less energy consumption), fresh inspired foods (all local), urban farming (veggies from the display’s own planter box), and beautiful scenery along with vibrant, engaged communities.
The juxtaposition of urban and rustic creates opulence with a farm-fresh twist! With sustainability at the core, this delightful rooftop setting is meant to be shared.
Imagine hazelnut crusted Dungeness crabcakes with herb-seasoned, grilled root vegetables. Greens plucked from the garden drizzled with fresh raspberry puree and a rich butternut squash soup. Finish with poached pears decadently dressed with Moonstruck dark chocolate. All of this accompanied by local libations—fruit liqueurs and brandies, wines, brews, and roasted coffees.
The Design Team
Each of the designers runs a multi-faceted design company offering interior design, remodeling, home staging and styling services, and also light commercial and outdoor projects. Angie Morse said, “We all strive to create unique, personal, inviting spaces for each and every client. For us, it’s a matter of listening to our clients’ life stories, respecting their treasures, and helping them discover their personal design style. With the same passion and energy we bring to our projects each day, we had so much fun creating this vignette for Serving Up Style. We were also very humbled by the response from our colleagues and vendors when we approached them with our ideas and need for assistance. We are truly grateful for the talent, generosity, and enthusiasm they brought to the project. ReStore rocks!!!”
Don’t forget to vote!
This event includes a People’s Choice award, and voting for the People’s Choice award goes live on houzz.com Thursday, October 4. Please vote for the Room Stylers and help them win the People’s Choice award!
If you attended the Home and Garden Idea Fair in Clark County this year you saw lots of great home improvement ideas and probably discovered many creative things to put on your garden wish list. You also may have heard tons of pounding, excited chatter and lots of laughter.
That commotion was the result of a four-way collaboration, born through heightened community awareness and networking between the Clark County Skills Center, Clark County Environmental Services, the Clark County Habitat for Humanity Store and our new Building Material Recovery Program.
How did it come together? (Deep breath!) The Lifetime Fence Company in Vancouver contacted me about salvaging used cedar fencing from some of their teardown projects, and of course we were happy to oblige. We took the lumber to the Clark County HFH Store, processed it and set it aside for sale and for use in future projects.
The environmental services folks approached the HFH Store about purchasing some wood for their summer kids projects (birdhouse making), and of course the HFH Store was happy to oblige. The environmental staff needed bird house parts cut and contacted the Clark County Skills Center about using its occupational training center for the wood work, and of course they were happy to oblige.
At the fair with boxes of parts that needed assembly there were plenty of willing hands and smiling faces ready to oblige! I’m sure if we listened hard enough we would hear lots of newly-housed bird families across town saying, “Much obliged!”
Thanks for the partnerships. This is a small but great example of what we can do when we work together, using everyone’s gifts to make all our worlds a better place.
Once again, Umpqua Bank graciously gives us space in its Vancouver, WA branches to provide its customers with information about the Clark County Habitat for Humanity Store. We did this last year, too and it was a great success. Not only does this partnership showcases Umpqua’s commitment to the local community, it gives us an opportunity to inform people about our stores and our mission to support Habitat and keep usable materials out of the waste stream. We get to reach people who don’t know our stores are a great place to shop and a worthy destination for items they wish to donate.
In March, we had displays in Umpqua’s Downtown and Mill Plain branches. This month our displays move to the Hazel Dell and Evergreen branches. Each Saturday in April, the HFH Store truck will park in an Umpqua Bank’s parking lot to collect materials donations. The truck will collect donations between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm and you can bring items to donate. Here’s the schedule.
April 7 – Vancouver Downtown, 1400 Washington Street
April 14 – Mill Plain, 12019 SE Mill Plain Blvd
April 21 – Hazel Dell, 600 NE 99th St
April 28 – Vancouver Evergreen Square, 16409 SE 1st St
You may remember seeing Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East’s billboard campaign, “Habitat for Portland” around town last fall. After the billboards came down, ReStore Managers Shel Mae and Alex Bertolucci spent some time thinking about the best use for the billboards. The first thought was to display them at our ReStores, but then Alex suggested they be turned into reusable tote bags. The Billboards to Bags Project was born!
With a little sewing experience under her belt, Shel Mae designed a simple, easy to assemble bag. Rob Maldonado, our Portland ReStore Warehouse Assistant, turned Shel’s drawings into hard board patterns, and Cindy Correll, our Marketing Manager, created labels for the bags.
Our first cutting day was a huge success! Seven excited volunteers showed up to the Portland ReStore for the project. Our first banner was so big that when we unrolled it, it took up an entire aisle way in the ReStore! Just managing the size and getting it cut was a major undertaking. But by the end of the day, we had 135 bags ready to sew.
With the help of a ReStore volunteer, we discovered Spooltown, a small, locally owned and operated sewing factory on N. Williams Ave. Spooltown worked with us to finalize the pattern and gave us a very reasonable price to produce the bags.
The billboard bags turned out great, and they are for sale now for only $10 each at our Portland, Beaverton and Vancouver stores. Watch our video that tells the story.
Through our new Building Material Recovery service, we can say “yes” when you ask us to remove your cabinets, sinks, appliances, doors and other items. You’ll get a tax deduction receipt for the items you donate to the ReStore, and we’ll leave your site clean and ready for the next phase of your project.
Because a few people in our group work in the medical field, we were offered a tour of one of the local hospitals. We toured the Emergency Department, Labor and Delivery, the Operating Room and standard care wards. One of the physicians who talked to us was a woman who has worked at the hospital for 34 years. It was interesting to compare and contrast the care provided. Great care was shown, especially to hospitalized children. Rooms were brightly decorated and there were places for parents so that they could be present to ease their children’s fears.
Back at the work sites, the building continued. At the first house, some of us were finishing the support for the roof while others were applying a cement wall covering to both the inside and the outside of the house. After we placed the final roof supports, we started placing the metal roofing. The roofing was an orange color to provide contrast with the red, blue and green roofs on nearby houses.
At the second house, we cut and placed insulation into the ceiling and prepared the floor for the pouring of its concrete finish. The son of the future owner of the house applied the outer cement surface to the house.
On our final day, we continued to place roofing, apply cement to the walls and pour the floor in the second house. We also sealed the window casings. As we neared the end of our build time, we could stand back and see how far we had come. From arriving to find a plot marked out with string to now seeing a nearly finished home, we could all sit back and feel a great sense of accomplishment in what we had done in a relatively short period of time.
Olna, the lady from the first house, prepared a thank you and farewell meal of dumplings, fruit, cheese, juice and tea and gave each of us a gift to say thank you. After saying our goodbyes, we went to the second house to bid our farewell to the family. The father also gave us a small gift to say thank you and told us that he had been talking to his wife every day and giving her updates on the house. She was in the southern part of Mongolia about 600 miles away and had yet to see her new house.
After saying our goodbyes, we headed back to our hotel to pack for our return to Ulaan Baatar. We had dinner that evening with the local Habitat people and said our final farewells. We left early the next morning in order to get to Ulaan Baatar by late morning to allow for some local sight seeing and final preparations for everyone’s departure. Following local sightseeing, we were treated to a show of Mongolian dance and singing. The folk music and dance was very festive and upbeat. Afterwards, we had dinner at one of the local restaurants and went back to our hostel for our final night as a group.
At the hostel we said our farewells as we prepared to part ways. Some people were planning to return home, others would continue on trips to the Gobi Desert, China and other locations. We came together as strangers and left as friends. If you have the opportunity for this type of trip, I would recommend it. It was a unique experience that should not be missed.
After visiting the monastery at Amarbayasgalant on Saturday, we went north on Sunday to visit the Mother Tree, one of the holiest sites for the Mongolian people. Here, people and families visit from around the country to offer gifts and prayers. People often picnic in the shadow of the tree as many view this as an all-day event.
After the weekend was over, we headed back to the worksites to continue building the houses. Teams were split into different groups, with one group concentrating on filling any gaps in the walls with cement and others working to place the 2” x 6” lumber on top of the walls in order to place the ceiling support pieces. Here we encountered our only power tool of the build – a drill – which we used to drill holes in the wood positioned at the top of the wall to help anchor the roof to the walls.
Next, we placed the joists on the roof, spacing them to allow us to place the previous cut pieces of wood that would become the ceiling and also support the rafters of the roof itself.
We could tell the trust level between us and the building staff was increasing as there was less supervision over the various projects, allowing the local staff to concentrate on the next steps in the build process. A simple series of words in English and Mongolian were used to convey messages to help speed along the building process so as not to rely too much on the interpreter that was with us.
While teams were placing the rafters, another group was working from inside the house, cutting smaller blocks of gypsum to place in between the joists and cementing them in place. While this work was going on, cattle would wander in and out of the worksite, grazing for food and watching us work. After awhile, they would lazily leave and move on to their next grazing site.
Raising the rafters began to give the house its shape. Rafters were carefully placed and fitted to prepare for the placement of the metal roof. The frame for an external attic door was placed on one end. With no attic access from inside the house, a ladder was placed on the outside to allow the owner to access the attic area.
Towards the end of the day, a crew started to place the windows. The future owner of the house was seen standing inside staring out through the window with a huge smile. It was a fitting end to the day.
One of the ladies with the build group also works for an organization that provides eye glasses to women. She brought her glasses with her, and with the help of the interpreter, was able to meet with more than a dozen local women and provide them with reading glasses.
Over the next couple of days, we will finish the roof, insulation and frame the door. Though everyone in the group is tired by the end of the day, morale continues to stay high and everyone continues to look forward to continuing building the houses.
The third installment in Dan’s Mongolia adventure.
We have completed our first week of building in Darkhan, Mongolia. After a team breakfast, we started our second day building ceiling supports and rafters for the house. This entailed measuring, sawing and nailing – no experience necessary. Everyone on the team had the opportunity to try their hand at everything.
After we completed the rafters, we shifted to cutting 1’x4’ boards into 65 cm boards for what would become the inside ceiling. This required using several teams as we needed 360 boards for the house.
Near the end of the morning, we were informed that we would be building an additional house. After lunch, we went to the new site. There, the foundation had been poured, and waiting for us were large stacks of polystyrene-concrete composite blocks. The larger of the blocks weighed about 45 pounds each and were around 2 x 1 x 1.5 ft in size. People in the group went around picking up the blocks to test them for weight.
We mixed concrete, and the workers from Mongolia who were overseeing the build showed us how to correctly place the blocks. (I cannot comment enough on the patience of the build crew with us – they are great to work with!) The team divided into cement makers, block lifters and block placers, and the work began. With the guidance of the local builders, we laid the blocks, taking into account placement of the windows and the door. We used crosscut saws to cut blocks to size. We were able to place three rows of blocks before the end of the day.
The following day we went back to the second site to continue placing the block walls. We got to the site to find that the water in the container used to make the cement was frozen. We chipped out the ice and the day continued. We placed a fourth level of large blocks before switching to blocks about one-half the size of the original ones. Three levels of the half-size blocks were placed before capping the walls with a quarter-size block. The ends at the upper levels were started by one of the workers who looked like an acrobat as she moved easily around the walls. We finished our part of this wall by the end of the morning.
In the afternoon, we went back to our original site. Piles of blocks for the walls were waiting for us. However, unlike the polystyrene block at the other site, we were greeted by blocks of gypsum. While roughly the same size as the other blocks, they weighed about twice as much. We were told one reason for the difference was the material available at the time. The other difference was that there was only one size block – large. At this house, the large blocks would be stacked up six high through a series of scaffolding and steps made from the blocks themselves. The work was much slower as we needed two people to move each block. By the end of the week, we had nearly completed the walls of the second house. Everyone wanted to stay Friday evening to finish out the walls, but our hosts said we were already ahead of schedule and that we should take time to enjoy ourselves.
The evening meals presented their own opportunities for adventure as we would go to restaurants without the aid of a guide. Most menus had no English subtitles and as no one spoke enough Mongolian to adequately translate, meals were generally selected through the use of pictures. There were times that the picture did not match the meal provided, but it was tasty nonetheless.
On Saturday, we took a three-hour van ride to one of the oldest and more revered monasteries in Mongolia. The last hour of this trip was over dirt roads which twisted and turned and dipped in all directions. We finally saw the Monastery, which was at the end of the valley on a large open plain. The Monastery is still in use today and houses about 50 monks of different ages, from young boys to older men. During religious holidays, the ranks swell to around 1000 monks as monks from all over the region converge on the monastery. We arrived during prayer, but were allowed to observe and walk around the temple.
There were signs of reconstruction going on at the Monastery, and piles of new brick to replace the old ones were all over. Visitors can walk all over the grounds and visit any of the shrines. Herds of goats, horses and cattle were all around grazing on the grass. They are evidently very used to having people around, as they do not run when people approach them but rather walk away casually if people get too close to them. We ended our day with an authentic Mongolian BBQ along a river near the Monastery. The white linen-covered table with folded napkins and wine glasses was a stark contrast to the fact that we were in a large grazing field for the local animals. The cattle came right up to us, curious as what we were up to, no doubt not used to visitors in their domain. A meal of mutton, potatoes, salad and soup was provided, with wine and juice to drink. It was a great meal in the quiet of the valley. When we finished, we packed up for our drive back to our hotel. We will have one more day to visits the sites before beginning our second week of work.
Alisia Gonzales-Hankins lives with her daughter and three sons in a house in northeast Portland that they’ve rented for 12 years. Alejandra is 19, Dominique is 15, and her twins, DeMario and DeMarco, are 6. Over the years, their neighborhood has become much more affluent than it was when they first arrived. Rents in the neighborhood have doubled, but Alisia has managed to keep her rent low by not complaining about things that are wrong with the home.
They recently found out that the house has lead-based paint, which the twins have been exposed to. The soil also tested positive for lead, and now they cannot use it for gardening. The bathroom has mold on the ceiling and most of the pipes throughout the home are rusted. Aside from these problems, the house is too small and cramped for the number of people in their family.
“I’m stuck,” Alisia said. “I won’t be able to find anything affordable in this neighborhood anymore, so it’s better to keep my mouth shut and keep a roof over my head.”
After learning about the lead paint problems, Alisia, who works as a medical assistant, decided to explore housing options and applied to Habitat for Humanity.
“It was time for ownership,” Alisia said. “Habitat’s no-interest mortgage and sweat equity program is very, very appealing. I am looking forward to saving money, and I know how lucky I am to have this opportunity.”
Alisia and her family will be one of the first six families to move into Habitat’s Rivergate Commons neighborhood in North Portland. The Campbell Group, a first-time sponsor, has committed to raise the funds needed to build this home.
“I’m excited to move into something that is new and that I can call my own,” Alisia said. “I’m familiar with the area, and I’ve already met a few of my neighbors. It will be nice to live in a close community and be able to garden without fear of lead in your food.”
Although construction on the homes was recently started, a community garden has already been established at Rivergate Commons and is ready to welcome the new homeowners.