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Indian Valley Thrift Store survives

By Meg Upton

Special to Plumas News

[email protected]

In May we announced, after a meeting of the Indian Valley Thrift Store, that the shop was set to close at the end of the fiscal year on June 30. But there’s good news. Thanks to an influx of interest, volunteers, and some reorganization following the original article on the closing, Indian Valley Thrift Store will remain open.

The shop received over 50 responses after the article on Plumas News.

“People called, posted on Facebook, and reached out through friends. Not all were able to, but many were able to continue as volunteers,” said Sherilyn Schwartz who serves on the board as the treasurer. “We truly appreciate all of the positive outpouring of goodwill from everyone,” she continued. Prior to May 2020, the thrift store volunteer staff was mostly down to Ric King, Ruth McRoberts, and Lynda Bridges; it was too much for just a few people to handle.

Changes have been implemented. New board members helped breath new life into the organization. “Our biggest changes have been the number of volunteers and our new officers — Corky Porterfield as president, Nancy Presser as vice president, Sarah Crouch as secretary, Marjie Meeker as assistant treasurer, and continuing treasurer Sherilyn Schwartz,” said Schwartz.

King, Bridges, and McRoberts had been cleaning up and organizing the thrift store, but now even more overstock was sent down to Chico to larger charities to make room in the store and keep it better organized.

The thrift store isn’t out of the woods yet. To remain open, the thrift store needs commitment from volunteers. Some have signed up for shifts and been unable to keep their commitments.

“To remain open, we must have volunteers continue to follow through on their commitment to work and attend a monthly meeting to vote on the monetary grants/donations we give out each month.  And, we need our loyal friends and neighbors coming to shop and to bring us donations,” said Schwartz.

What’s a typical shift look like? The volunteers check in and might wind up working the front counter, but the bulk of the work is heading to the backroom to go through donations, price them, cleaning up, and putting things out.

Schwartz says there’s always room for more committed volunteers.

“We always welcome additional volunteers.  If someone is interested in working, that person needs to come into the shop to complete a volunteer form, pay the $5 yearly dues, and sign up for a work shift or two on the big calendar at the counter.  To remain active, a person must complete a six-hour a month shift (or two three-hour shifts) over a month.  Training is “on-the job” by the volunteers working that day.  We hope more folks will come to join us—many hands make work light!”

Schwartz and other volunteers have voiced that the community involvement is satisfaction in and of itself — especially in times of social isolation during the pandemic.

The store is now abiding by CDC guidelines and state mandates. A COVID19 plan is in place and is regularly revisited at board meetings. There’s hand sanitizer and masks available. Hand washing and gloves are available for those who volunteer there. Masks are now mandatory and social distancing is adhered to.

The thrift store holds an important place in the heart of the community and Schwartz sees the tangible benefits it has had on the community.

“We are proud that our little shop donated $11,619 to various community groups in 2019-2020 for projects and needs. In total this month, we donated $5,000 for scholarships and other community needs, even in this difficult COVID time,” said Schwartz.

This year scholarships of $1,000 each were given to Greenville High School graduates Nicholas Garcia-Hamilton to attend Chico State University and Ashlyn Bustamante to Feather River College. FRC graduate Rori Gail Renfree received the scholarship to transfer to Chico State University.

“It is fun to see a customer’s satisfaction at finding ‘a treasure.’  Ultimately, we all feel good about voting money out for a special project or need in our community,” said Schwartz.

The Indian Valley Thrift Store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.





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