Shoppers at Lowe’s on Whiskey Road on Saturday will have the opportunity to help Aiken County Habitat for Humanity. The organization is celebrating World Habitat Day with an effort to collect items that can be used in the construction of houses.


“The whole purpose of Habitat is to reach out to those who are in desperate need of decent, affordable housing,” said Richard Church, Aiken County Habitat’s executive director. “What we receive will be used to build houses in Aiken County.”


Aiken County Habitat will have its ReSale Store truck in Lowe’s parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The organization’s volunteers will hand out lists to shoppers of things Habitat needs.


“When people leave the store, they can give us their purchased items,” Church said. “Then we will give them tax receipts and put their donations in the truck.”


During last year’s World Habitat Day celebration, the donations included electric tools, hammers, nails, screws, tape measures and four pallets of lumber, Church said.


“Someone can go into Lowe’s and buy an item for $1.25, and it will make a big difference to us,” Church said.


Aiken County Habitat, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has constructed 92 homes since it was founded in 1988. Members of the Habitat Campus Chapter at USC Aiken have built 22 sheds for the Crosland Park development project, gone on trips to help build houses in the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina and have worked on Habitat houses locally.


“We’re always building, and we always need stuff,” Church said.


In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly designated the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day. This year’s date is Oct. 7. However, the United Nations announced that it would recognize Habitat Day in 2013 during a two-week period that started Oct. 1.


Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard.


She has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.