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News Community Habitat for Humanity raises funds for citizens in need

The Habitat Re-sale Store is located at 56 West Palmer Street in Franklin.Re-sale store, annual Shrimp Boil are major sources.

Macon County Habitat for Humanity recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of operation for its resale store in Franklin. The Habitat ReSale Store is one of several sources of funding for projects conducted by the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Profits from the store sales are plowed into conducting housing rehabilitation projects in Macon County and for operating the local organization.

The store is located at 56 West Palmer Street in Franklin and is one of the premier non-profit repurposing stores in the area, said Debby Westerman. Clothing, furniture and household goods are located in the front portion of the store, which is managed by Margaret Smoot, while Phil Rumans manages the construction material warehouse in the back of the facility.

According to Rumans, Habitat is the only resale store in the area that does pick-ups throughout Macon County.

The 10th anniversary celebration was a big event for Habitat, according to Rick Westerman, executive director for Macon County Habitat. “We had a great turnout with help from the local model railroad club, face painting and Habitat volunteers providing free hot dogs and a bake sale. It also helped that we had reduced prices on all merchandise. The recent remodeling, directed by Debby and Margaret really improved the look and organization of the store.”

Margaret Smoot, Phil Rumans and Debby Westerman manage the Habitat re-sale store.“We feel that we are providing an important service to the local community by having a facility dedicated to re-purposing such a wide variety of still serviceable goods”, said Debby, who is the Habitat board member providing oversight for the store. As people clean out their attics and garages, remodel, or simply upgrade their possessions, the store takes donations that can be sold at huge discounts, which can be a real resource for folks with tight budgets.

All donations are tax deductible with receipts provided at the store or during pick-up. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. On Tuesday and Thursday, they are open until 6 p.m. Pick-ups can be scheduled by calling the store at (828)524-5273.

The resale store is only one of the sources of funding for the Macon County Habitat for Humanity affiliate. One of the biggest fund-raising events is coming up in August. This is the annual Smoky Mountain Shrimp Boil.

“This is the 16th year we will have had this event,” said Rick Westerman, “and it’s an important fundraising event, in addition to being a whole lot of fun.”

The Smoky Mountain Shrimp Boil is a mountain version of the Low Country Boil.

Volunteers help with the serving line at last year’s Habitat for Humanity’s Smoky Mountain Shrimp Boil. This year’s shrimp boil is slated for Friday, Aug. 11, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Franklin First Baptist Church, 69 Iotla Street .According to Westerman, a number of local businesses help sponsor the event so that proceeds from the event go to support the mission of Habitat, which is improving living conditions for Macon County citizens in need. “Over the years, we’ve had very good support from the local community for this event” said Joe Sustarsic, coordinator for the 2012 Shrimp Boil. “In addition to the great food, we have entertainment and provide another opportunity for fellowship with our neighbors in the community.”

In addition to all of the other activities, Habitat will be doing the drawing for the cedar strip canoe donated by Green Leaf Canoe Company at this year’s event.

The 16th Annual Shrimp Boil will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 4 to 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 69 Iotla St. in Franklin. Tickets for the Shrimp Boil are $20 for adults and can be purchase at the ReStore, the Habitat office at 167 Sloan Road, the Chamber of Commerce or from any Habitat Board member. Raffle tickets for the canoe can be purchased at the Habitat facilities (Re- Store and office), Outdoor 76 and Hookers Fly Shop in Sylva. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

“While these activities are important, one of our most important sources of funding to continue the Habitat mission is the direct, tax deductible donation” said Dave Jones, president of the Habitat board of directors. Donations may be dropped off at the Habitat office on Sloan Road or through our web site at www.maconcountyhabitat.org.

Macon County is largely a volunteer powered organization, whether it’s building or rehabilitating homes, or running the ReStore. If you wish to volunteer to help Macon County Habitat for Humanity in its activities around the county, contact Pete Drevas at (828)369-3716 or stop by the office at 167 Sloan Road to obtain an application.


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