It has diverted more than 15 million pounds of material in sold items from landfills, harvested a million pounds of metal it has sold as scrap, and recycled tons of cardboard, plastics and glass.
“It probably was a heavier lift than we knew going into it,” Kuhn said one recent day, sitting at a donated dining table in ReStore’s still-cavernous — and often cold — warehouse space. “But it started out much less daunting than it looks today.”
Having just turned 65, Kuhn has several retirement projects in mind, including providing child care for one of her and husband Duane’s four grown children — a police officer — who has a new baby boy and works odd hours.
In just under 20 years, ReStore has donated more than $3.3 million in cash to Habitat, paying for more than 16 homes. This year, it is accounting for 17.6% of Habitat’s revenue, Kristi Crafton, executive director for Habitat, said. ReStore also has donated material goods such as doors, paint brushes, shingles and siding.
Building the business as it is today from scratch may seem like a heavy lift, but Kuhn, of Bettendorf, and co-founder Nancy Foster, of Davenport, did it incrementally, a little bit at a time, as their budget allowed.