People sharing what they can. A box of clothing. Some used furniture. That old set of dishes. Over the years, the door to the office would sometimes be blocked with these donations. Community members stepping forth to help SAFE Harbor serve its clients. The actions of those friends helped SAFE Harbor spark the idea to open a Thrift Store.
Of course, to develop and organize a new business required many other steps, hundreds of hours of volunteer time, and a few learning curves along the way. Today, Sister Sallie’s is housed in a facility that has allowed the store to expand its offerings; including clothing, furniture, housewares, seasonal goods, shoes, craft items, small appliances, books, and toys.
Clients can utilize vouchers to secure start-up household supplies at no cost and have the chance to gain job experience at the store. Sales have been consistent and impressive, the volume of donations ideal and humbling.
Open from Monday through Saturday, between 10 am and 5 pm (closed Sundays), the store relies on a large volunteer team to keep it all operating smoothly. New volunteers are always welcome, whether for a few hours a day, once a week or more.
For SAFE Harbor and those it serves, Sister Sallies represents a strategic effort to build a permanent revenue stream. In the future, this will help to ensure ongoing services and support to victims of violence in Lake County and the Flathead Reservation.
To make the most of this opportunity, SAFE Harbor has kicked off a capital campaign for needed repairs on the “new to us” building and to reach our goal of paying off the mortgage in one year. It’s an ambitious project. Yet, in a very short time, SAFE Harbor has already secured $50,000 of the $250,000 campaign goal.
The decision to take this initiative was in part motivated by the incredible response the store has received from the community since opening in April and an incentive built into the purchasing contract for all the interest paid to be returned should the balance be paid in full in one year. The community has rallied in a way that is meaningful, helpful, and inspiring.
People keep sharing. They bring donations. They volunteer. They tell their friends. They help SAFE Harbor believe in possibilities and the power of collaboration. Thank you for being a part of this dream!