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The ReStoration Corner

Blake MacKenzie

Blake MacKenzie's journey with Habitat began in 2013, and in that time he's worked as a Development Assistant Intern, Advocacy Intern, Development Associate, and is now the Communications Specialist. Prior to Habitat, he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead with majors in English Writing and Biology and a minor in Chemistry, and worked as a Community Organizer. He's an avid reader, makes a good risotto, and enjoys the great outdoors.

Recent Posts

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. ReStore!

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Oct 3, 2018 4:32:17 PM

You maybe know a bit about Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's ReStore home improvement outlets. That they take donations of new and gently-used home improvement items, furniture, appliances, and more, sell them at a steep discount, and use the revenue to power Twin Cities Habitat's mission.

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Topics: Green Initiatives, 2018

New Brighton ReStore Reaches 1,000 Monthly Donations

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Aug 29, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore Home Improvement Outlet in New Brighton has hit a major milestone. For the last three months, the store has received more than 1,000 donations per month. As a result, the New Brighton ReStore has moved into the Top 20 among 900 ReStore outlets nationwide.

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Topics: Donate, 2018

Minneapolis ReStore hits $1 Million in sales

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Mar 29, 2018 9:32:14 AM

After opening its doors in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis in September 2016, the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore home improvement outlet has become a staple of the neighborhood. Now, a year and a half later, it has hit a huge milestone: one million dollars in sales. And all that goes right back to making Habitat homes affordable for homebuyers across the Twin Cities.

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Topics: Sales

A Tale of Two ReStores

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Jan 11, 2018 3:47:32 PM

As you might imagine, there are many similarities between the two Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStores (one located in New Brighton, the other in Minneapolis). They’re both near busy highways, making them accessible for shoppers and donors. They both feature a vibrant and ever-changing assortment of gently-used (or new) items for sale that help fuel Habitat’s mission. And, with a combined total of over 4,000 volunteers, 14,000 donations, and 48,000 shoppers in the last year—both stores are doing quite well.

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Topics: Sales

Many Hands, One Goal at ReStore

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Sep 15, 2017 9:28:00 AM

Ask a regular volunteer at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStores what volunteering is like, and at some point they’ll probably tell you it’s like being part of a big family with a common mission. Everyone has a different role to play—whether that’s organizing volunteers, pricing merchandise, or making sure everything looks good on the floor. And every seemingly little action adds up in a big way: in the last year, revenue from the ReStores helped sponsor the building of six Habitat homes.

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Topics: Volunteer Spotlight

A First Job that Makes a Difference

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Aug 15, 2017 5:32:17 PM

When your first job as a high schooler is at a Twin Cities Habitat ReStore, you can rest assured that you’ll have plenty of variety in your work. That’s what ReStore interns through the Step-Up Achieve program have found.

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Topics: Volunteer Spotlight

Navy Makes a Splash at ReStore

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Aug 4, 2017 2:04:56 PM

The U.S. Navy sailed into the Twin Cities for “Navy Week” in mid-July, and they were everywhere—diving into aquariums, skydiving into parks, performing concerts. And we were lucky enough to have a big team of Sailors spend some time volunteering at our Minneapolis ReStore home improvement outlet.

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Topics: Volunteer Spotlight

From Forest Floor to Sales Floor: The Story of a Beautiful ReStore Donation

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Jul 11, 2017 4:18:56 PM

The ReStore recently received a rare find: beautiful oak and maple rough-sawn planks. For $1 a square foot, this lumber’s a steal. And it’s all thanks to Dick H.

Dick is one of those people who is quote-unquote “retired.” He built a company from the ground up, creating wildlife transmitters and tracking systems that are now used worldwide. But after retiring, it seems like he hardly slowed down. Retirement has simply given him more time for many things, including his favorite hobby: woodworking. 

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Topics: Donate

Turning a ReStore job into a labor of love

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Mar 20, 2017 3:09:34 PM

“When I started working at the ReStore, I didn’t know much about Habitat,” said Grant Carlson, Operations Coordinator at Twin Cities Habitat’s New Brighton ReStore. “Then I realized how lucky I was. It has turned from a job into a labor of love.”

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Volunteer Spotlight

Retiree Jim finds unique volunteer opportunity at the ReStore

Posted by Blake MacKenzie on Feb 6, 2017 12:14:19 PM

Some Habitat volunteers swing hammers and raise walls on a build site. Others paint or do repair work for existing homeowners with Habitat’s A Brush With Kindness program. Still others advocate for affordable housing, assist shoppers in a ReStore, or help out in the office. And then there’s Jim Larsen. Jim travels across the Twin Cities as a ReStore Truck Assistant volunteer, collecting donations that will be sold to help fund Twin Cities Habitat’s mission. And it’s the perfect role for him.

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Topics: Volunteer Spotlight