Local thrift store back open after roof collapsed
SPOKANE, Wash. -The Volunteers of America Thrift Store is back open at their new at 6206 E Trent Ave. in the Spokane Valley.
The former store on North Atlantic Street suffered a roof collapse last winter leaving the store, which works to help the homeless, suddenly without a home itself.
Everywhere I go, people ask me when the Thrift Store is going to be back up and running. I'm thrilled to finally have an answer" says Volunteers of America CEO Marilee Roloff.
Proceeds from the store support the work of Volunteers of America in more than a dozen housing and support programs for homeless and vulnerable populations—including Crosswalk teen shelter and Hope House women's shelter.
The new store is big and bright with lots of parking. Bill and Theresa Mitchell have managed the store since 1978 and have nearly a century of second-hand industry experience between them. They knew that the condemned building and total inventory loss meant they had a long journey ahead of them.
"I want to thank the people of Spokane for being patient with us," says Theresa. It took sixteen months to find the new location. They spent most of the spring renovating the 21,000-square-foot space, rebuilding their inventory and calling their loyal customers.
Now, they beam as they stand in the middle of a brightly-lit, clean showroom filled with clothing, house wares, musical instruments, vintage finds and other treasures. It has been a long road from Atlantic to Trent and the Mitchells are eager to resume their thirty-year relationship with their donors, employees and customers.
"When the roof first collapsed, I got call after call from people asking if Dot or Marilyn was okay," says Tracey Hirt, who answers the phones at Volunteers of America's social services headquarters.
"At first I didn't know what they were talking about. But then I realized that people had long-term relationships with the women who regularly called them to arrange a pickup. They missed them when they didn't call."
During the past year and a half, the store received inquiries from all over the region and even as far away as Minnesota. Folks wanted to know when their favorite thrift store was reopening.
"People love this store," says Theresa. "They come from all over because it's not just a way to find bargains. It's entertainment. It's therapy. We have regulars who come very day just to see what's new."
So, how can people help? "We need a little bit of everything, every day," says Bill. The store carries antiques, artwork, baby items, bicycles, books, children's goods, DVDs, furniture, house wares, jewelry, musical instruments, plus sizes, rugs, shoes, toys, vintage items and just about anything else you can imagine.
To arrange a pickup, call 509.327.4112 or stop by the store at 6206 E. Trent Monday through Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
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