Family support to open thrift shop |

Family support to open thrift shop

by Joyce Hollister

The Family Support Council is going into business.

The non-profit agency provides assistance to victims of domestic violence, programs for parents, rape crisis intervention and mediation programs.

Most of these programs are free but cost the council money, and the grants that used to help pay for them are drying up.

“I could see the handwriting on the wall,” said council Director Karen Edwards. “We got less money this year from United Way. Grant money is getting less and less.”

So the Family Support Council board voted this week to open a thrift store.

“We’ve been looking and investigating for two years, looking for something that would work,” Edwards said. “We looked at a lot of different things, and they didn’t fit. The board feels really good about this and really excited. They all think it’s going to be very successful.”

Edwards talked to managers of several thrift stores in the Carson City and Carson Valley areas. She feels confident that another thrift store in the Valley won’t hurt the existing two.

One is operated by Friends in Service Helping (FISH) on Short Court in the Gardnerville Ranchos, and the other is the venerable Coventry Cross Thrift Shop, located at 1219 Service Drive in Gardnerville.

The Family Support Council’s thrift store will be located near the Coventry Cross shop at 1224 Pep Circle. Edwards said she learned in the investigation process that when two or more thrift stores are located near each other, each gets more traffic and more business.

The managers of the two Valley stores encouraged her, she said.

“They were very positive,” Edwards said. “I was pleased with the response.”

The thrift store will open in October, possibly Oct. 1 and no later than Oct. 15, Edwards hopes.

The store will generate funds that will help to pay for the many programs the council offers and the day-to-day operation of the shelter for victims of domestic violence that will be established in the next two years. The council is in the second year of fund-raising for a shelter.

“The shelter is one of my big concerns,” Edwards said. “We’re going to have this big monthly cost we’ve never had before. We’re going to need some kind of income to help pay for it.”

Besides grants, the Family Support Council also relies on donations from the community. But the board and Edwards don’t want to overstay their welcome in the pocketbooks of the community.

“The board feels very strongly about not tapping the community anymore. There are a lot of good causes and we do enough (fund-raising),” she said.

The thrift store will also provide clothing and household goods that the shelter victims will need.

The store will offer the usual items – clothing, children’s toys, books, furniture and kitchen utensils. Edwards would like to see a selection of tools and small power tools, but no large appliances.

The council doesn’t have storage space right now, so Edwards asks people who want to donate to the thrift store to hold onto their items until the store opens.

The board will hire a full-time manager and will rely on volunteer help as well to operate the store.

For information, call 782-8692.