November 8, 2012 | Vol. 116 -- No. 29

Care and Share store will benefit from renovation

Opening date moved from Nov. 15 to end of the month

Big changes are in store for Medical Lake’s Care and Share Thrift Store.

Since mid-October, the store has been under the knife, receiving some tender loving care in the form of renovations. Additional space has allowed the store the opportunity to spread out and create proper departments for its items with a brand new floor plan. Generous donations from Medical Lake residents totaling between $10,000 and $15,000 helped jump-start the much-needed project.

Care and Share director Ann Starr said the community has been a strong partner during the renovation, which is expected to last through the end of the month.

“We’re dressing it up and making it more welcoming,” Starr said. “Everyone in the community has been amazing. Everyone knows that the money earned here goes to the food bank.”

The Medical Lake Food Bank moved out of the Dora Burt Center earlier this year, relocating to its new building at 207 S. Washington St. Money earned at the Care and Share goes directly to the food bank, providing extra purchasing power for the growing need in Medical Lake. While donations are still accepted during the renovation, it isn’t open for business and few funds have been sent through to the food bank, Starr said.

“They’re in a world of hurt until we open again,” she said.

The number of families receiving help from the food bank has doubled over the past three years, and averages over 200 each month.

The Medical Lake community has rallied behind the renovation process, helping to bring items in and out of the building, paint, make repairs and patch up the aging building. Like any remodeling project, some difficulties have arisen along the way, including the breaking of a water pipe, and a heating system that gave out a few weeks ago. Timing difficulties with other vendors have pushed the project back from its initial finish date of Nov. 15.

But, in spite of the unforeseen obstacles, spirits have remained high and excitement is growing, leading up to the reopening.

“This community is absolutely amazing,” Starr said. “Not only do they donate items, but they shop here as well. Some donate items instead of having a garage sale.”

The Care and Share is open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some constraints prevent the store from being open for additional hours, Starr said, but the increased space is a draw in itself.

“In the long run, we’re hoping this renovation brings in more business,” Starr said.

Many come from outlying areas around Medical Lake for the low prices on high quality goods. Customers can expect the same level of service once the store opens again, and the same welcoming and fun environment for which the thrift store is known. Until then, Starr is excited to open the doors and show customers the renovated building.

“It’s going to be totally different,” she said.

James Eik can be reached at james@cheneyfreepress.com.

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