According to the manager of the nonprofit store, Rhonda Reed Buchfuehrer, the interior was stripped and old merchandise was donated, recycled or stowed in storage as crews remodeled the space.
During the two-week closure in the last week of March and the first week of April, a paid crew swabbed what the manager described as 40 years of dust, dirt and cobwebs from the rafters and ducts of the cavernous facility, that was previously a bowling alley.
“A major cleanup is what it amounted to,” she said.
Volunteers from St. Lawrence Orthodox Church, the owner of the building, added a handicapped-accessible dressing room and opened up space on the sales floor with the removal of a couple of half walls that served no purpose.
Reed Buchfuehrer said the volunteer workers gave the entire building several fresh coats of paint to make everything brighter.
In the weeks leading up to the closure, she said, the store cleared out as much stock as possible, with the goal of having a fresh batch ready for the grand reopening.
“We wanted to start with all-new merchandise,” Reed Buchfuehrer said.
She said that the store, which is independent from St. Lawrence Orthodox Church, was fortunate to have so many volunteers and low-cost work crews.
“The dollars and cents pay utilities and salaries,” Reed Buchfuehrer said.
She said hidden costs of running the nonprofit, such as the expense of hauling away broken and unusable items, eat away at the budget.
“We spend a sizeable amount of money at the dump,” she said.
Reed Buchfuehrer said being a nonprofit organization means the store is bound by health code laws and regulations about what it can accept — particularly in regard to children’s toys.
She asked that donors consider the functionality of items before donating them and take items such as printers and televisions without flat screens, which are rarely purchased, to an e-waste facility. Toys with broken parts, or that are dirty cannot be resold.
The less money the store spends on unsellable items, Reed Buchfuehrer said, the more it can direct toward charitable causes.
“We try to do as much as we can in this valley,” she said.
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