As recycling manager for the Washington City Mission, Douglas Bush often receives unusual donations.
But finding a new home for 75 church pews is going to be a challenge for him.
St. Louise de Marillac Church in Upper St. Clair, which is undergoing interior renovations, recently donated its old church pews to the mission. The mission will use the proceeds to enhance its homeless programming.
A number of the pews also been also donated to Washington County Habitat for Humanity. Its executive director, Tony Gacek, said Friday that he believes a few already have been purchased through Habitat’s Restore at 1001 E. Maiden St.
Church pews donated to the City Mission have sold well in the past, but Bush didn’t realize that the church has a rounded sanctuary so the pews are not a uniform size. As a result, some might be “handyman specials” because they had to be cut in order to be moved.
The price is negotiable for the seating. While Bush is willing to sell them individually, he believes the ideal buyer will come forward to take the majority of them.
Bush listed the pews for sale on Craigslist. Both the mission and Habitat have turned to social media in recent years to sell items. While the mission has used eBay or its Facebook page, Gacek uses Twitter to post photographs of goods for sale at the Restore.
Because the mission has such an emphasis on recycling these days, there are few items they won’t take, explained Donna Bussey, public/media relations manager.
“Individual and corporate donations are down because of the economy, so taking something that people are discarding and turning it into revenue in order to help people is pretty incredible,” she said.
“We’ll take anything we think we can resell,” Gacek said, noting that for every dollar of material sold at the Restore, 1.3 pounds of material is kept out of the local landfill.
Although no one from St. Louise DeMarillac was available for comment, its website indicates tentative plans to have Bishop David Zubik visit to bless and consecrate the renovated sanctuary and new altar in April.