Remodeled Care and Share opens to the public
The men’s department, in the former Care and Share space, was furnished by Starr’s husband.
After a long stretch of nips and tucks, the Medical Lake Care and Share thrift store is back open for business.
The store first went under the knife Monday, Oct. 15 and reopened to the public last Saturday, Dec. 8.
Prior to the remodeling, the store was cramped into one part of the Dora Burt Center on 211 N. Lefevre St. Now, it has some room to stretch out into proper departments, giving it a proper store environment.
The Care and Share used to share half of the building with the Medical Lake Food Bank. Donated items would be sorted throughout the week and then brought back into the main Care and Share space so the food bank could operate Thursday and Friday.
The building is now split into men’s, women’s, home, shoes and other distinct areas.
As a result of the hard work put in by a number of volunteers, there is new carpet, a new paint job and a completely new atmosphere to greet customers.
“We’ve been blessed having six dedicated volunteers who have been dedicated to help,” Care and Share director Ann Starr said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Work on the annex outside, which contains furniture, is ongoing.
Expanding into the rest of the building alone is enough to keep the crew happy for quite some time. For some, it’s the realization of a dream.
“Customers can see what’s for sale,” Starr said. “Before, it was all in one room. Now, it’s spread out and visible.”
Sales at the Care and Share go directly to fund the food bank.
Starr said the construction effort was quite labor-intensive, running into some of the typical difficulties in a remodel. Purchasing delays, older piping and a myriad of small items delayed the re-opening by a few weeks.
The results, however, have paid off. Those who had seen the store prior to its opening had positive reactions.
“People will come in and can’t believe it’s the same building,” Starr said.
Throughout the renovation, the store took donations, further building up its inventory.
The Care and Share is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Now that the renovation is complete, the main door for the store has changed to the old food bank entrance, which connects to the parking lot.
A before and after snapshot would reveal a complete change, particularly in the current men’s department, where all of the store’s items once were.
“It’s a shame we didn’t have pictures,” Star said. “It’s hard to believe this is actually finished.”
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.