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Economic Development
Jun 1, 2014

When Is A Bicycle Not A Bicycle?

Sponsored Content provided by Steve Spain - Executive Director, Cape Fear Habitat For Humanity

When it turns into a driveway! That joke cracked me up when I was 7 years old and led to a lifetime of fascination for wordplay and puns. If you share an appreciation for that kind of humor (unlike many among my joke-weary family and friends), you know that nothing warms a punster’s heart more than finding a literal truth hidden inside a figurative joke. And that’s just what I discovered when I joined Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity in 2013 and learned how its ReStores work.

When bicycles are donated to Habitat, we put them up for sale at one of our two ReStores. When customers buy them, their purchases support all of Habitat’s work, including our home building program. So, the money we receive for bicycles might just end up paying for the concrete that goes into the driveway at one of our houses. So, bicycles really can turn into driveways!  

Turning a bicycle into a driveway is a pretty neat trick. But the magic doesn’t end there. Because the bicycle was donated to Habitat, we were able to sell it well below its value. That may have allowed a parent to buy a child a bike that he or she couldn’t otherwise afford. Or it may have helped someone without a car get to and from work every day. Or it may have become part of an artist’s kinetic sculpture installation.

A variation on the joke goes: When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar! Well, I don’t think we can turn a door into a jar, but I know we can turn jars into a door. We sell all kinds of jars: canning jars, bell jars, candle jars, and even mason jars attached to wine glass stems. Sell enough of them, and it could add up to a new front door for one of our critical home repair projects. Of course, the ReStores sell doors, too: folding doors, security doors, screen doors, and garage doors – not to mention tapes and CDs by The Doors. All those doors help open the door to home ownership for Habitat families.

When you donate your gently used pre-owned treasures, you’re not just clearing out the garage or attic; you also may be giving a child a reason to smile, a parent the ability to work, or an artist the inspiration for a masterpiece. When you buy from the ReStores, you’re not just getting a bargain; you’re supporting the repair and production of affordable housing in our community. You’re helping to make the dream of home ownership come true for hard-working, mortgage holding, tax-paying families.  

So, tie a string around your finger and “Remember the Restore” the next time you have items that you no longer need, or if you want to add a unique accent to your home. There’s one downtown on 3rd Street by Greenfield Lake and another on Market Street in Ogden. 

Steve Spain is the Executive Director of Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. Over the last 25 years, CFHFH has provided first-time homeownership opportunities to over 150 families and currently builds a dozen new houses a year. To explore volunteer or sponsorship opportunities or to learn more about Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity’s programs, visit Contact Mr. Spain at [email protected]. Like CFHFH on Facebook:

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