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ReStore duo transform broken donations

Decades of handyman experience has prepared Tom Timmer for his role with Habitat for Humanity.

“Can you fix this?” It is a question often heard by ReStore volunteers, Tom Timmer and John Martens, “I’m not sure, but we will take a look at it” being the typical reply. 

With more than 18,000 donations made to Habitat ReStores in 2019, a number of items donated are missing parts, pieces, or in need of repairs before making it to the store floor. “Sometimes I see brand new things donated, and I think, how did this get so broken?” said Tom.Rather than letting the items go to a landfill, Tom and John bring it to their repair office located in the McGregor ReStore, a store which they helped build, and get to work. 

Using donated tools and the skills they’ve developed over decades of professional and practical experience, the two volunteers transform broken tables, furniture, and miscellaneous goods into store quality, ready-for-sale items. “It can be painstaking work,” said Tom, and for John, the work does occasionally take its toll on his replaced knees, hips, and shoulder. But he’s motivated to keep going by a “Christian attitude of helping others” and the drive to do things right. 

We are so blessed to have these two passionate and dedicated volunteers supporting our mission,” said VP of ReStore, Tammy Moran.    

They continue to volunteer up to five days a week, and their vast knowledge and expertise are utilized daily.  We consider them family, and their unwavering support has strengthened the teamwork and mission of turning donations into homes.”  

Certainly, their efforts have significantly contributed to a fantastic year for the Habitat ReStores. A year in which ReStore revenue was a record-breaking $3.3 million. Thank you, Tom and John, for your continued support of Habitat for Humanity and dedication to creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live. 

Interested in volunteering with Habitat? Learn more at

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.