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Measured in City Blocks: Orgill Gives Back

Orgill Kieran organizing a group.

Most ReStore donations are measured in relatively small increments—linear feet of lumber, pallets of tile, pounds of nails—but when independent hardware store supplier Orgill holds their trade show in New Orleans, their donations are measured in city blocks.

First in August 2015, on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and again this past February, shortly before Mardi Gras (and during the NBA All-Star Game, which was being played a few blocks away!), Orgill hosted their vendor show at the Ernest Morial Convention Center, using all ten halls, each one as long as a city block.

With everything from patio furniture and lawn equipment to brand new tools and furniture, the 2017 donation required 30 volunteers, partner families, AmeriCorps NCCCs, and NOAHH staff coordinating with staff from Orgill, the Convention
Center, and the convention logistics company GES. Together, it took NOAHH and our partners three days to palletize, wrap, and ship 14 trailers full of donated materials, and thanks to the incredible staff at GES, two more trailers of material were loaded and shipped after the ReStore team left.

“We showed up–it was bad enough with the Carnival traffic getting there because of all the parades going on,” said NOAHH homeowner Whitney Jett, who worked some of her sweat equity helping with the donation. “And then they told us, ‘Oh we got the whole convention center, all the way down there.’ Because we were at one end and were thinking, ‘All the way down there?!’ You go booth to booth. It’s like somebody took down about four Walmarts and gave everything to Habitat. Just going aisle to aisle, making pallets. It was just so much stuff. It was exhausting, but exciting at the same time, because we were looking at all this stuff.”

Once the donations were delivered, the NOAHH ReStore staff and volunteers began processing, pricing, and placing them on the sales floor. With so much donated, it took an entire month to fully process. With just the first few truckloads delivered, the ReStore was bursting with amazing material—and between the two donations, enough was raised through sales to fund three homes. Through partnerships with companies like Orgill, the Convention Center, and GES, NOAHH is able to support our mission through home-building, as well as by providing affordable materials to local families and companies for repair projects and home maintenance. Both the environment and the companies benefit by reducing the amount of material going to the landfill.

Any gift to the ReStore has an impact that extends far beyond the transaction. NOAHH thanks everyone at Orgill, GES, and the Morial Convention Center for their support and continuing dedication to affordable housing in New Orleans!

If your organization has a donation for the ReStore, call Kieran at 504-609-3331 to schedule a free pickup!

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