OU Inn and Habitat collaborate to sell used hotel furniture, other items

A glance at some of the items you may find at Habitat's ReStore on Union Street.

The general manager of the Ohio University Inn and the executive director of the local Habitat for Humanity both sit on the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.

So when the OU Inn made plans to renovate all of its 139 guest rooms, a scheme was hatched to donate leftover dressers, chairs, bed frames and other items to Habitat's Restore operation.

Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio is "on a mission to transform the lives of individuals in Southeast Ohio by working with families in need and advocating for affordable housing," according to its website.

Since 1990, Habitat has empowered 39 families to achieve their dreams of homeownership and break the cycle of poverty through its Homeownership Program, the website states.

Its ReStore operates out of the old carry-out/liquor store building on at 309 W. Union Street, and accepts donations of new and used building materials and furniture to sell at discounted prices. The ReStore generates revenue to build new Habitat homes in Southeast Ohio and helps to reduce landfill waste.

OU Inn General Manager Scott Kovalick said Monday that with the hotel's room renovations, everything from bathtubs to carpet to dressers and bedside tables became available for donation.

"Habitat for Humanity, we know they're a great organization," he said. "We wanted to offer them anything we had leftover."

Initially, the Inn allowed associates who work there to take items home, and anything then left, Habitat came to pick up.

Room renovations are about halfway complete, Kovalick said, so while many items have already been donated, many more will become available as the OU Inn continues its refurbishing.

"I touched base with (Habitat executive director Kenneth Oehlers) and let them know we were doing this complete renovation and that anything leftover they were free to have," he said.

Other donated items included bed frames, headboards, desks, lamps and other fixtures, Kovalick said.

"We know Athens is a tight-knit community that is focused on taking care of each other, and the OU Inn appreciates the community," he said. "And with Habitat, we are always happy to help out these organizations and support what Athens is all about."

Habitat's ReStore is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The ReStore accepts donations of usable and structurally sound building materials during store hours. All donations are tax-deductible.

For questions about donations or to schedule a pick-up for pre-approved items too large for a donor's vehicle, those interested are encouraged to call 740-589-5865.

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