Designer clothing, antiques and Renoir art are items usually found in a high-end department store, but Helping Hands Thrift Store in Gardnerville has all three.
"I want people to be aware that it's a nice comfortable place to come. It's not a junk shop," manager Linda Ellis said. "We have a wide range here from 25 cent books to $200 antiques."
The Industrial Way store is an extension ministry of The Carson Valley United Methodist Church, which gave $46,000 in cash and merchandise back to the community in 2011.
"This store has always maintained the philosophy that it's for the community," Ellis said. "Every person that works here at the facility is committed to the community and the needy."
The 4,400 square-foot store sells clothing, toys, furniture, books, games, household appliances, dishes and electronics.
"We are always careful to pick the best items that are clean, only slightly used. Everything is tested. We don't put any junk out," Ellis said. "It's not just the needy. I hear from people that say they like to come to this store because it's neat, organized and a pleasant atmosphere."
To keep their inventory fresh, Helping Hands offers daily half-off specials on specific items, and twice a month does a storewide sale. Today's sale is on toys, games and puzzles.
"We process new items everyday, and everyday new items come out on the shelves. I'd say there is just about something for everybody," Ellis said. "I encourage people to come and see the value in thrift store shopping. I want them to see you can get good, clean items at rock bottom prices. Thrift store shopping makes good economical sense."
In the eight years helping Hands has been in business they have kept the prices of clothing and basic necessities the same.
"Everything that is a necessity has to be kept low enough that people can come in and buy them," Ellis said. "I had one lady say, 'you have kept your prices low enough that I can come in here and buy clothing for my children.'"
The store also rotates inventory with holiday items as well.
"Right now we are doing a Halloween display," Ellis said pointing to the costumes and decorations. "During Christmas time the entire back is all Christmas."
Proceeds from the store support the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, Meals on Wheels and clients of Douglas County Social Services, Douglas Mental Health and Family Support Council.
Helping Hands also gives to the church's emergency fund for people that need help with utilities or rent or other bills.
Donations are accepted behind the store during regular business hours.
Helping Hands Thrift Store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
The store is located at 1418 A Industrial Way. The phone number is 782-9410.