Helping the community one tree at a time; Habitat ReStore continues annual Christmas tree auction

Published 8:56 am Friday, November 30, 2018

Patrons of the Habitat ReStore in the Sterling shopping complex are seeing a familiar sight this week.

Located near the front of the store are Christmas trees, each decorated differently. They vary in size and shape; several are average size trees, while others are small. Most are the traditional green, but a few are white, and all have different color schemes.

But unlike trees located in other stores and businesses, the trees at Habitat ReStore are not festive decorations. They are available for purchase via silent auction and, like other items in the store, are donated.

A number hangs next to a Christmas bulb on a tree at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore as part of the stores’ Christmas tree auction. 

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“The trees are decorated by the volunteers and workers,” said Samuel Thorpe, Habitat ReStore manager. “Each person decorated it how they wanted to decorate it, kind of put their style on it. There are those that are different from the rest, but that’s a good thing.”

Thorpe said the Christmas tree auction has been held for several years at Habitat ReStore. This year’s auction began on Wednesday and features 35 donated trees.

“Last year we had more trees, but there were some that didn’t get bid on, so hopefully this will maybe create more demand,” Thorpe said.

The auction also includes the Santa, Mrs. Claus and eight reindeer display featured in the store’s front window.

The auction works in standard silent auction format, with bidders placing their names, bids and contact information in a binder located at the front register. The trees are numbered so as not to cause confusion.

Christmas trees are lineup, ready for bidders as part of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore’s Christmas tree auction.

The auction ends at 5 p.m. on Saturday, after which the winners will be contacted about picking up their respective trees.

Thorpe said how winners transport the trees is entirely up to them.

“We had a couple last year that shrink wrapped the whole tree with the decorations and brought it home,” he said.

Although it is an auction, prices for the final bids are never too exorbitant, according to Thorpe. And, like the purchase of other items in the store, the money raised from the auction goes directly to Habitat for Humanity.

“You’re not just getting a tree, you’re supporting the community and supporting Habitat,” Thorpe said. “That’s what the ReStore is here for, to raise funds for Habitat and get people low-income housing and good houses they can afford. You’re taking care of a family, which in turn takes care of everyone.”