Archive for November 2013

5 Ways to Winterize your Home

Are you ready for winter?
Habitat's Construction Manager
Follow our Construction Manager Jon Bram’s 5 simple steps, and you will be ready to face the harsh New England weather!

1.  Keep out the cold.  Lock all of your windows.  Window locks don’t just keep out unwanted visitors, they also keep your window sash properly compressed against the windows weatherstripping.  If you have storm doors or windows replace the screens with the storm panels.  If you have air conditioners in your windows take them out.  Make sure the flue is closed in your fireplace.

2.  Tune up your heating system.  If you have a forced hot air system, change the filter in your furnace and make sure that the floor and wall registers are not blocked by furniture.  If you have hot water radiators, vacuum the fins.  Removing the cover will make this easier.

3.  Shut off and drain the valve leading to your outside spigot.  If your spigot doesn’t have a shut off valve it is probably a “frost free” model.  In that case make sure you remove your garden hose.  Leaving a hose attached to a “frost free” spigot will not allow it to function properly and can lead to frozen and cracked pipes.

4.  Clean your gutters.  Clogged gutters and downspouts can promote the formation of ice dams during the winter and lead to wet basements in the spring when all that roof snow melts.

5.  Get ready for the “storm of the century” now.  Stop at the hardware store today and pick up salt for the sidewalk, gas for the snow blower and batteries for your flashlight.  Then you can relax at home when the snow flies while everyone else fights over the last bag of ice melt at Home Depot.

From Habitat’s November Newsletter, sign up to get more great tips.

Community bands together after ReStore’s Truck Destruction

One week after the Habitat for Humanity  MetroWest/Greater Worcester affiliate discovered its ReStore truck had been stolen and destroyed, the community is coming together to continue to build houses and provide household items to the community through the ReStore.


Vandals set ablaze the donation pick-up truck which serves 42 cities and towns in the MetroWest/Greater Worcester region, leaving Habitat in a difficult situation since 30% of Habitat’s operating revenues comes from donations received at the ReStore.

“The ReStore serves a diverse community with quality and affordable items. Many of our customers are working class families,” said Debbie Maruca Hoak, ReStore Director. “Having a truck is crucial to the impact we have with these families and throughout our service area.”

“So much of what we do is dependent on donations that we receive through the ReStore,” added Tim Firment, Habitat’s Executive Director.  “Our inability to pick up these items will affect our volunteers and homeowners as we build affordable housing that our community so desperately needs.”

To bridge that gap, Habitat has created a GoFundMe campaign to help keep the ReStore going.The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts and the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation have stepped up and provided resources for Habitat to purchase a new truck in the spring. That still leaves a significant gap for ReStore devotees and donated materials for building homes for families in need.

To learn more about how you can help contact Director of Development Sunny Stich at or 508-799-9259 ext. 118

Earlier this month, The ReStore was able to increase its donations when Habitat received a donation of a Nissan Transit van from Nissan USA, with support from StaplesCommerce Bank and Casella Resource Solutions. The van is used to supplement ReStore pick ups and also help with home construction.

However, a larger truck is crucial to the amount of donations picked up daily and the inventory available in the store. In response to last week’s vandalism, Staples promptly stepped in with a gift of a 16 foot replacement truck. Staple’s generous donation to help Habitat’s immediate need is an incredible gesture of outreach and support to the organization.

“I am overwhelmed with the community support,” said Debbie Maruca Hoak, ReStore Director. “We are so grateful for those foundations and companies that assisted in immediate relief and have given us hope for growth. The Staples truck will arrive in about three weeks, and at that point it will need to be insured, and brought up to maintenance.”

The Health Foundation of Central Mass granted support for the new truck through its Activation Fund which supports innovative growth of community organizations and the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation is continuing its long-standing commitment to give back to Worcester charities.

“These foundations giving are central in the future of the ReStore in our community, and ultimately our ability to build simple, decent homes for families in need,” said Habitat’s Executive Director, Tim Firment.


Join us in keeping ReStore on the road: 

Go Fund Me Habitat ReStore Truck