Classes seek to recycle building materials
Whether serving food at a local food kitchen, collecting trash off the side of a road or helping out with other community projects, nothing is more satisfying than doing volunteer work.
That is what Norb Thomes’ E-Commerce Cases and Design Studio Applications classes have been doing since the beginning of spring semester.
The two classes are working together as a learning community and dividing their volunteer hours between the North Iowa Fair organization and Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
ReStore is a business run by Habitat for Humanity which sells new and “gently used”building materials to the public for a fraction of retail price.
All the materials that ReStore sells are donated by businesses, contractors and the general public to support the work done by Habitat.
The class had the opportunity to work with the United Way last year, which is how they were able to start working with Habitat this semester.
“We wanted to work with United Way again this year,” Thomes said. “But they said they were just going to reuse the work we did for them last year, so they gave us the idea of working with Habitat.”
The six students who worked with ReStore were given the opportunity to build a booth and create a brochure for the Home Show that was held at the North Iowa Fairgrounds on the weekend of Feb. 27, 28 and March 1. The booth is built entirely from recycled materials bought at ReStore including the lights.
“Being able to use materials from the store was one of the most interesting things about the project,” Chris Funk, a NIACC student who worked with ReStore, said.
The final price tag for the booth, including discounted graphics from Sign Pro, was about $100. Without the use of materials from ReStore, the price would have been close to, if not more than, $1,000.
On top of providing low-cost building materials to the public, ReStore also keeps usable material out of the landfills and raises money to help build new homes through Habitat.
According to Habitat for Humanity’s Web site, www.habitatnci.org, there are more than 100 ReStore facilities across the U.S. and Canada, and the most successful facilities raise enough money to build 10 or more houses per year.
The items sold by ReStore include: doors, windows, flooring, tile, cabinetry, plumbing, electrical materials, paint supplies and even some appliances, and are sold at a 50-75% discount off of regular retail value.
ReStore also seeks donations in the form of office needs and small tools, which are necessary for the operation of the store.
Donors can benefit by avoiding any landfill fees and can also receive a tax deduction from their donation.
For the rest of the semester, the class will continue to work with ReStore and do such things as: creating a marketing plan, store decorations and signs, a promotional video, and logos for the exterior of their van and trailer.
The students who are working with the North Iowa Fair will be designing posters, flyers, brochures, T-shirts, ads and commercials, among other things.
It will be a busy semester for the students but they know they can handle it.
“We’re the best design team you’ll ever find,” Ryan Adams, another NIACC student working with ReStore, said.