Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Word From Our Intern...

Jodi Weiss, Hamilton College '19

I’ve learned that it takes a lot more than nails and hammers to build a house in Oneida County. My name is Jodi Weiss, and I am a first year student-athlete at Hamilton College. I was given the opportunity to work with Oneida County Habitat for Humanity through Hamilton’s COOP Service Internship (CSI) Program, and have been grateful ever since. I came on board early Fall of 2015, ready to work in resource development, with social media, and of course in the Oneida County Restore itself. I had never formally worked for a non-profit before, and so my world changed when I began to learn what it took to run one successfully.
It takes a hard working, smart, and dedicated team to keep a non-profit running smoothly. At Oneida County Habitat I’ve been able to work with these people who seem to be able to overcome any adversity that comes their way, while maintaining a functional and safe environment for volunteers and community members. I participated in the construction of the house on 1025 Steuben Street with a group of my own peers as well as other students from various schools. I even got the opportunity to assist my supervisor, Allison Kollar, with the Home is where the Art is art auction held at the Steuben house this past Winter. Although Oneida County Habitat was unfortunately facing some hard times with the unexpected closing of the Restore on Seward Avenue, I witnessed tireless intensity from Louis LaBella, Allison Kollar, and the generous volunteers as we pushed through this adversity and used it as a wonderful opportunity to make Oneida County Habitat even more successful in order to better help the community. I thoroughly enjoy working for Oneida County Habitat for Humanity, and I can't wait for what's to come in the future.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lend a hand, volunteer Habitat for Humanity!

Who volunteers?

All sorts of people, groups, and organizations lend their free labor and resources to help on a multitude of charitable projects in their area. Some do it just to fill their desire to be helpful, others wish to align their groups and corporations with positive community service initiatives and be supporting factors in these projects

Why do we help?

Some people just like getting their hands dirty and truly enjoy helping on projects for those who are in dire need of help. Whether it be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, tending to the sick, or housing the homeless; volunteering in a necessary component of the building and shaping of a truly communal society.

What does it mean to be a volunteer?

Many volunteers just want to help and are willing to get in on interesting projects, but the only thing stopping them is their availability. Persons who volunteer their time all agree that finding time to volunteer is the most strenuous part of the whole process. With more and more opportunities such as these the community gets more chances at working together and meeting one another; hopefully building strong bonds of friendship and community service. 

Volunteering is a modern day trend that will never go out of style; despite one’s various reasons for lending a helping hand everyone can agree that volunteering is respectable and a truly awarding activity.

Where to start?
Oneida County Habitat for Humanity is constantly in need of more volunteers and persons that understand the importance of valuable projects such as these. Anyone who is interested in partaking in one of the many volunteer opportunities within this organization, can find a registration form under the"Get Involved" section of Oneida County Habitat for Humanity’s website or should contact Allison Kollar:, for more details.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Panera Bread, providing great food and helping change lives.

Do more than fill your belly with your next meal!

Help Habitat for Humanity help those in need by simply dining at your local Panera Bread!

Oneida County Habitat for Humanity Fundraising Night
On November 17th, between the hours of 4P.M. & 8P.M.  
Bring the flyer to Panera Bread®, on 4821 Commercial Drive, New Hartford, NY 13413.

Panera Bread® and Oneida County Habitat for Humanity have partnered together to build more sustainable housing for Oneida County. The only time you can get a delicious, hand--crafted Panera Bread® dish and help a great cause all at the same time.

The Panera Bread® legacy began in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co., along the east coast of the United States and internationally throughout the 1980s and 1990s and became the dominant operator within the bakery-cafe category. Through a comprehensive re-staging of Saint Louis Bread Co, during 1993 and 1997, ultimately the concept's name was changed to Panera Bread. As of September 29, 2015, there are 1,946 bakery-cafes in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and in Ontario Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.® and Paradise Bakery & CafĂ©® names, delivering fresh, authentic artisan bread served in a warm environment by engaging associates.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Habitat for Heroes

Author: Wayne Edwards, Utica College '15

What Is Veterans Day?
Founded in 1930, on November 11th a temporary treaty was issued which halted all hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany. The treaty went into effect and was regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” This year, let's celebrate the true purpose of the holiday and acknowledge the men and women who have served in our armed forces, such as the members of the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the Coast Guard.

Treat your Special friend to Something Special
Do you have a friend who is a veteran? Are you a veteran? Are you or that individual a disabled hero or a veteran who is financially disadvantaged? Oneida County Habitat for Humanity provides homeownership opportunities as well as home repair projects for veterans. Habitat for Heroes builds specifically designed homes based on the needs of the veterans, while still using the original affordable Habitat housing model.

Help out and lend a hand with Oneida County Habitat for Humanity!
Oneida County Habitat for Humanity provides no interest-- no profit handicap accessible homes for their veterans. Using Habitat’s A Brush With Kindness program, they are able to rally the necessary volunteers and resources to help veterans repair or modify their existing homes. So this Veterans Day either, refer a veteran to the program or make a notable donation to help continue the efforts of Oneida County Habitat for Humanity and their Habitat for Heroes program.

Do you Qualify:

  • The property must be your primary residence and owned by you
  • You must be current with mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance
  • You must have veteran status or honorable discharge
  • You must demonstrate a need for home repairs or to remain self-sufficient in your environment
  • You must be below 60% of the area median income for Oneida County
  • You must be willing to partner with Oneida County Habitat as well as provide sweat equity hours

2014 Income Limits for 60% of HUD Area Median Income ($59,500) of Oneida County

HH  size
1 Person
2 Person
3 Person
4 Person
5 Person
6 Person



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Home Is Where The Art Is


Attention Utica Artists, Pinterest Fanatics and DIY enthusiasts!

OCHFH is having a salvage art auction and want you to participate! 

We are asking local artists or individuals who are interested to create a piece of artwork made from a ReStore item. The items will be auctioned during a silent auction from November 21st until December 5th of this year. Every artist that completes a registration form and agrees to participate will receive a $50 voucher for the Restore to be used on this project only. The artist will also receive 50% of what their item sells for during the silent auction. 

Deadline for registration is Sept. 26 and the deadline to have your item submitted is Nov. 12. The items will be on display for a week in our Restore prior to the silent auction. We also will be having a Holiday & Auction Kickoff party that we invite all of our participants to attend. Here they can meet with the other artists, board members, volunteers and other special guests and share their inspiration with potential bidders. 

To register, please visit or stop by our offices located in the ReStore at 216 Seward Ave. Utica, NY.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

ReStore ReStoration

Do you frequently visit OCHFH ReStore? Are you a Pinterest or DIY fanatic? Our ReStore has many hidden gems that can be re-purposed into something new!

Simply repainting a cabinet is a great easy project you can do with a ReStore item. Or for the more crafty folks out there, maybe you want to re-purpose a table into a mosaic using used tiles. ReStore is great for DIY projects, and the prices are unbeatable.

We've recently been asking our customers who are buying items for a craft or DIY project to send us pictures. Below you will see some of the projects OCHFH customers have completed!

Brenda turned an antique dresser mirror into a bathroom vanity! 

Coral spray painted a velvet, high back chair and replaced the buttons.

Great idea from Donna, a OCHFH volunteer, for re-pirposing vases & glass dishes in her garden.

Have you transformed a ReStore item into a piece of art or up-scaled a piece of old furniture? Please send your pictures to to be featured on our Blog and Facebook page!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

ReStock the ReStore - What To Donate

Are you doing some summer cleaning? Are you taking advantage of the nice weather and renovating your home? Have you replaced your appliances and don't know what to do with the old ones? Do you need to clean out some unneeded or unwanted furniture, bathtubs/showers, hardware, etc.? Don't throw them away, donate! You can donate anything in good condition to the Oneida County Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

If anything is constant in home renovations or upgrades is trash. What some people may view as useless garbage taking up space in their garage or basement, OCHFH ReStore views as treasure. Donating these materials keeps them out of landfills and helps other individuals in their own home renovations; not to mention all proceeds from Restore go toward fulfilling Habitat's mission of building homes, hope and communities.

Not sure what to donate? 

In general, all home building materials or household items that are in good condition can be donated and reused at the ReStore. 

Here are 8 best types of items to donate:

Sinks, Toilets & Bathtubs
If you’re donating a bathtub or sink, make sure that they are not stained and do not have chips in the porcelain. If you are remodeling an older bathroom, your vintage fixtures will be surprisingly popular at the local ReStore. 

Are you remodeling your kitchen? Normally, that means new cabinets. Your old, out-dated cabinets may be very useful to someone else. Kitchen cabinets should be in good working condition and have all of their necessary parts. Keeps cabinets and drawers together when donating.

Working Appliances 
You can also donate working appliances like stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines. They should be clean and in good working condition. OCHFH ReStore can use these appliances to help other homeowners who may not be able to afford a brand new, full price appliance. 

Wood from framing or deconstruction projects can easily be reusable.  We request that it does not have any exposed nails or screws because these can be harmful to our staff and volunteers. Acceptable wood consists of wood that is in good condition, meaning without mold or water logged.

Doors and Windows   
Both internal and external doors, like storm doors or screen doors, can be donated. Make sure that they are not damaged, rusted or broken. If you are donating a door with glass make sure that the glass is not broken, these cracks can make the door unusable.

Tiles and Wood Flooring 
Tiles and wood flooring are great for donating. Many times, people can reuse these items in home renovation projects or other DIY projects. Look for clean, undamaged wood flooring with no visible nails and screws. They also will recycle extra boxes of tiles from a home improvement project. 

Light fixtures and lamps can be salvaged and always accepted at the ReStore. Many people use lighting fixtures while remodeling their homes or rental properties. College students or young couple moving into their first apartment often look for low priced lighting before going to big box stores to purchase the more pricey options. Sometimes all it takes is a new lamp shade to completely transform a new lamp into a modern piece.

Door Handles and Cabinet Knobs 
Many people update door handles and cabinet knobs to do a quick and cheap upgrade to a room. These fixtures are often in good condition and can be donated for another person to use. Door handles will be most useful when all the parts are kept together, so put all of the pieces in a bag before donating.

Do you have items you would like to donate to the OCHFH ReStore? Click here for a complete list of accepted items or contact us at 315.624.9010