Located at 515 N. West Street, right next door to the Community Sheltered Workshop, the Nifty Thrifty Thrift Store is the result of a changing economy, explained Harvey Cooper, Workshop executive director.
"We were trying to figure out what we could do to generate a little bit of income and generate some jobs for our people," explained Cooper. He expects some 10 jobs for the developmentally disabled will be provided through the operation of the store, when it opens the week of Dec. 12.
"And we will be able to offer people good, used clothing at reasonable prices," he added.
While the building has long been a part of the Sheltered Workshop, Cooper explained it had been empty. To prepare it to house the new venture, repairs were made, the interior painted, new tile laid and lighting and a phone line added.
For the past two months, Community Sheltered Workshop's workers have organized, sorted and checked items donated to the new thrift store.
"There's a lot of different stuff, a lot to sort out," said Barbara Frazier of Charleston. Frazier, who was going through boxes and had just discovered a bread box, was busy looking for the proper area for the item.
Joining her in the stacks was Carrie Haney of Sikeston. "There is lots of stuff, candles, coffee pots, lots of stuff people can come buy," she added.
Clothing makes up much of the store's offerings. There are racks of jeans, suits, shoes and dresses, items for men, women and children.
The workers have sought to give the interior a department-store look, arranging area such as a corner set aside with children's clothing, games, toys and stuffed animals. Another corner has shelves filled with books.
Kitchen items have their own area. According to Cooper, the workers check appliances to ensure they work before putting them on the shelves.
All items are priced individually. The income generated from the sales will be used to help pay for a part-time employee to oversee the operation as well as those from the Workshop who will assist along with the costs of providing a pick-up service, Cooper said.
Donations can be left during store hours or in a drop box which will be placed nearby. Also arrangements can be made to have items picked up by calling the Community Sheltered Workshop at 472-0583.
"If they are tired of walking around it, they don't have to wait until a garage sale. They can box it up and we will carry it out," he said. By offering pick-up service, the Community Sheltered Workshop hopes to make it easier to make donations, Cooper explained.
Receipts are available acknowledging the donations, however Cooper said, it is up to the donor to put a value on the items donated for resale.
Although not opening for another week or so, Cooper said the hours for the Nifty Thrifty Thrift Store will be from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours may be added, he said, depending on what the public's needs are.
A grand opening is being planned for the Community Sheltered Workshop Nifty Thrifty Thrift Store and will be announced later.