Hope Restored Thrift Store to benefit shelter

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published February 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated February 8, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
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With grant money becoming harder to come by, White County Domestic Violence Prevention Inc. has had to turn to new models to find funding.

The nonprofit operates Hope Cottage, a shelter for women and children who are the victims of domestic abuse. Until now, the organization has gotten by on grants and donations.

“Funding is getting really tight these days,” Hope Cottage Program Director Kaye Candlish said. “A lot of us have relied on grants for many years, and those are getting harder and harder to come by.”

To replace the money not coming in from grants, the organization will soon open the Hope Restored Thrift Store, stocked with donated clothing, furniture and home goods. Located at 509 Race St. in suites 4 and 5, the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, beginning this Saturday.

The Hope Restored Thrift Store will join several stores in the Three Rivers Area that help fund nonprofits. Lonoke County Safe Haven opened the Safe Haven Thrift Store in Cabot in December after the organization’s shelter began experiencing similar difficulties in funding.

“I’ve spoken with many shelters who have opened up thrift stores to supplement their funding,” Candlish said. “White County is so generous with their donations that we typically have more than we can use.”

The shelter will still use donations to clothe the women and children who come to the center, but extra donations will go to the thrift store to provide a second avenue of income.

Store manager Brenda Pierpont said the store will rely heavily on volunteers to help keep things running during the day.

“We’re coming along, but we have quite a bit of sorting to do,” Candlish said.

The store is large — several thousand square feet — but Candlish said that with the number of donations they have, they could already use more space.

Though there are several thrift stores operating in the Searcy area, Candlish said Hope Restored will offer a unique opportunity for shoppers to benefit the only domestic-violence shelter in White County through their purchases.

“People will come shop with us not only for good-quality products, but to help support us,” Candlish said.

Pierpont said she has noticed more people than ever turning to thrift stores for discounted items.

“With the way the economy is now, so many more people that wouldn’t think about going to a thrift store before are going to thrift stores now,” Pierpont said. “I want to make this a very nice store.”

Items at the store will be available at no cost to women and children transitioning out of the shelter.

Candlish said that in addition to articles for the store, several items are urgently needed for the shelter, as well, including garbage bags, paper towels, phone cards or pre-paid AT&T cellphones, disposable gloves, high-energy laundry detergent, fabric softener, Lysol, sponges, baby wipes, baby diapers (sizes 5 and 6), Pull-Ups, ibuprofen, cloth medical tape, baby wash and mouthwash.

“Whatever it takes you to run your house, it takes us many more of them to run a shelter,” Candlish said.

Those who want to volunteer at Hope Restored may contact the shelter at (501) 278-5130. Donations for both the shelter and the thrift store can be dropped off at the store.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or evanzandt@arkansasonline.com.

Staff Writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3688 or emily@syncweekly.com.

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