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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Lifestyles

Fundraising craft classes at Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County demonstrate beautiful benefits of reusing and recycling

Under the watchful eye of the instructor, Linda Lawrence-Nolan of Hampstead used her fingers to carefully spread resin over sand and shells on her window Saturday afternoon at Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County’s ReStore in Westminster.

“Resin is a little intimidating,” Lawrence-Nolan admitted. “You want somebody to show you before you attempt it on your own.”

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The do-it-yourself sea glass art class on Saturday was the second craft class Jenny Koontz had taught as a new type of fundraiser for the Carroll County chapter. The first was a picture frame class in November.

Both had a theme of reusing or reimagining items.

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“Chalkboards, jewelry, there are all kinds of things you can upscale,” said Koontz, a Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County board member. “We’ll probably do another one of these in a couple months.”

Stephanie Averett, director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County, said the new classes have proven to be popular.

“We didn’t have the space to do it before,” Averett said. “We held a few things in the nonprofit building but nothing like this.”

In March 2021, Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County opened Habitat’s second largest resale store in the state, at the former Westminster Antique Store on Hahn Road.

“We had the opportunity to carve off space for a classroom,” Averett said. “It is a great space.”

A variety of other classes and homeowner seminars are held in the space. It also serves as a community gathering place, with groups able to rent it for monthly meetings.

“It’s been a blessing, that’s for sure,” Averett said. “It has exceeded above and beyond what we had imagined.”

Averett and Koontz dreamed up the class to use donated window frames that had sat in storage at the store and were in “pretty bad shape,” according to Averett. After spending some time on Pinterest to get ideas, the class was born.

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“Reduce, reuse, recycle is a big part of the resale store,” Averett said. “We use the same principles for art projects.”

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The class fee was $100, and all supplies were included. Any additional proceeds were considered a donation to Habitat to help in its mission to build affordable homes in Carroll County, Averett said.

“It makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Averett, who estimated the class would bring in $800 for the nonprofit.

“Everybody deserves a decent home,” Koontz said. “Nobody should be hungry. Nobody should be homeless. All of these proceeds go to programs.”

Class participant Donna McCumbie Jones of Pasadena brought sea glass that she had collected while living in Alaska to include in her window frame creation. And Sue Stanczyk of Frederick said the price of the class was a deal.

“To buy this is a fortune. It would be hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen them at the beach,” Stanczyk said, looking at her in-progress window she plans to put up in her condo at the beach. “This is just plain, old fun.”

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The nonprofit plans to offer more craft classes at the Westminster ReStore, Averett said, and will likely “mix it up” by using what’s available in the store.

“We have a lot of punch bowls,” Averett said. “I love doing stuff like this.”


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