NEW2U – Thrift shop helps transitioning foster kids. SUSANVILLE, CA
When you walk into New2U Thrift Shop in Uptown Susanville, you may notice a surprising difference from the average thrift shop. Some will say it’s because everything is cleaned before it is displayed; others will say it is just the difference store manager Edie Aparton makes in the store. I am inclined to agree with the latter and yes, it is also true that they clean even the clothes.The store also has new items coming out all the time, that’s because Edie says they move quite a bit of merchandise in the little store. “If an item sits here too long, we put it on sale or have a silent auction.” she said. Aparton’s experience includes working at a Sierra Hospice Thrift Shop and also had her own Chester shop. She first became involved with Mountain Circle Foster Family Agency as a foster parent after also being a CASA worker (Court Appointed Special Advocate for kids). When they asked her if she had interest in running a store to benefit the kids, her initial reply, “If it’s cute.”
Well, cute it is, under the artistic direction of Aparton who is careful to give credit to the kids, volunteers and the rest of the staff. The store is set up to support five kids. At the time of our interview, there were three teens participating, Jasmine, Raina and Latoya with two more expected soon. The kids live in a house around the corner under the direction of Kathleen Bryant, THP Mentor, who also helps out in the store. Curtis Weight of Mountain Circle Foster Family Agency heads up the program. Program Director for Transitional Housing Placement. The goal is to help them get in their own apartment. required to save money so when they leave they should be equipped to get their own place. A secondary program that helps age kids age 18 -24
All of the profits from the store go into the Transitional Housing Program (THP) which teaches the kids life skills, job skills including presentation and the art of working with the public. The kids work in the store and in the back taking in items and readying them for display in the store. The kids who work in the store receive a salary and are required to pay room and board in the THP house as part of the deal. They fill out a rental application, pay a deposit just like the real world. some have outside jobs.
For foster kids graduating high school and turning 18 years of age it means the end of the road in the foster care program. Kids are often faced with having to move out on their own, ready or not. Some end up in a Job Corps program, some join the military and others have to find their way and work to support themselves. This program is set up to help local kids who are transitioning from foster care to adulthood. Edie says they are constantly seeking donations of items and volunteer time. When you donate to New2U Thrift Shop you are helping in more ways than one.
PORTOLA THRIFT SHOP BENEFITS HOSPITAL
If you are in the Portola area, your donations to the Nifty Thrify, located in downtown Portola will benefit the local hospital. Proceeds from the Nifty Thrifty have resulted in over $1.5 million in donations to EPHC over the lifetime of the Auxiliary. Profits have been used to purchase many items for the hospital including a DXA Scanner, in 2008 (measures bone density) and a new 4wd ambulance in 2007, in partnership with the EPHC Foundation. EPHC’s fundraising goal for the current year is the upgrade of its mammography department to digital capacity. The Nifty Thrifty accepts a variety of gently used items, as well as monetary donations. Donations are accepted Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 3 pm. The location is 116 Commercial Street, Portola. For more information, stop by or call (530) 832-5967. The mailing address is PO Box 735, Portola, CA 96122. An annual membership is available for a donation of just $5 and includes a subscription to the Auxiliary’s quarterly newsletter, full of updates on its many activities and volunteer opportunities.