Interview With Habitat for Humanity International ReStore Support Group
RSG: Hi Santa. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about your involvement with Habitat for Humanity. Tell me, how did you first get involved with Habitat ReStores?
Santa: Well, many years ago, everybody wanted shag carpet in their house. I had quite a few people put ‘shag carpet for living room’ on their Christmas list. So, I had the elves sneak in and take measurements, cut the carpet for a perfect fit and then roll it up real tight so it could fit in the sleigh. Trouble was, at the last minute, a bunch of those folks got themselves put on the naughty list. There I was, stuck with all this shag carpet cut for naughty folks’ living rooms. I threw it in the barn and forgot about it.
RSG: Wow! I didn’t know elves did custom measurements! But you still haven’t told me how this is connected to ReStores.
Santa: So, I had this carpet in the back of the reindeer barn for years. Then, four years ago, Blitzen’s wife had triplets and we needed to make some more space for the little cuties. You ever seen a baby reindeer?
RSG: No, I haven’t, but I can imagine how cute they are – especially triplets!
Santa: So, I needed to get rid of that shag carpet fast and, trust me, it wasn’t on anyone’s Christmas list that year! When I was telling the Mrs. about my problem, she said that she had been talking to Frosty about this walk-in cooler he bought at something called a Habitat ReStore. She remembered him saying something about how they sold all kinds of stuff – anything that people felt like donating. So I got on that worldwide web thing and checked it out.
RSG: And what did you discover?
Santa: Not only are these stores a perfect solution to my problem of excess shag carpet, they are doing good. I was pretty impressed that they take this donated stuff, sell it to folks, and use the money to build houses with families that have ‘A Nice House’ on their Christmas list! It’s amazing!
RSG: So, you donated the carpet?
Santa: Yep. I called my closest ReStore’s donation hotline and they convinced me to load up the sleigh and deliver all this carpet. They said their customers were creative enough that they would figure out something to do with the ‘used-to-be-cool’ shag carpet. A few months later, they sent me a thank you card and a newspaper clipping of a story about the carpet. Turns out, an interior designer bought the lot of it and used it to remodel a trendy bed and breakfast. It actually looked pretty neat.
RSG: Wow, that is a great story!
Santa: Yeah, I was pretty excited that I could turn those naughty folks’ gifts into something good! I am glad Frosty told the Mrs. about the ReStores and I even do a bit of shopping there sometimes. Well, actually I send the elves, as I always cause such a big scene. Movie stars can where big hats and sunglasses, but my belly, beard and rosy cheeks usually give me away. I do, however, do all the donating myself, as I am the only one that can manage a full sleigh. I hate taking people off the nice list, especially after we have their presents ready, but when it happens, it’s great to know that Habitat has a way to turn their bad behavior into affordable housing. Incredible!
RSG: Well, Santa, I am happy to hear that you are both a ReStore donor and customer! Now, how do you feel about volunteering? Maybe you could send the elves. We could use a lot of help repairing furniture or you could ask Frosty to come on down and help test the freezers!?
Santa: You know, my local ReStore asks me about volunteering every time I drop off a donation. You people sure are enthusiastic! I told them that I’d help them do donation pick-ups with the sleigh a few Saturdays per year, but only after they start building Habitat houses with fireplaces. I am tired of sneaking though doors and windows. It really slows me down!
RSG: Hahaha! Well, Santa, it has been great speaking with you. On behalf of the ReStores and all Habitat partner families, thanks for your support. We hope the true joy of Christmas remains with you and yours all year.
Santa: Thank you, and tell all those ReStore folks to keep up the good work! They are doing a great thing.