The 22 people who sort donations, price items and help customers each week at Golden Valley's New To You Thriftique don't get paid a dime.
The volunteers are mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers to children who attend Calvin Christian Schools—a private chain of schools with a high school in and Kindergarten through eighth grade schools in and Blaine.
All of the shop's proceeds go toward a tuition scholarship fund at Calvin Christian Schools.
'Blessings Filter Out'
"During the economic downturn, in 2008, our school's enrollment really dropped," Christine Weiss, co-chair of the store, said. "They decided to open the store as a way to allow students to stay enrolled, rather than being forced to move to another school."
New To You Thriftique gets donations from , the , Calvin Christian Schools campuses, and a few other unlikely places.
Jeff Belleau, a Golden Valley resident and owner of Caring Transitions of Minneapolis, has been donating items from estate sales to the thrift store since its opening.
"I knew that a lot of my clients would appreciate a donation that was going to benefit Christian schools," Belleau said. "I wanted to focus on developing a relationship with a Golden Valley business. They are a wonderful group of people."
Beth Heaton, who runs the shop alongside Weiss, said that she feels blessed to be volunteering at the store. "We work here because we want to," Heaton said. "We get to see the blessings filter out of this place. It's really amazing."
Keeping Prices Low
As co-chairs of the thrift shop board, Weiss and Heaton spend roughly 20 hours a week working at New To You Thriftique. Weiss, who is also an interior designer for Martha O'Hara Interiors, made it her mission to keep the thrift shop prices low.
"Before we opened, I drove down what I call the 'thrift store strip' in Golden Valley and gathered pricing information," Weiss said, referring to the many thrift stores on Winetka Avenue. "We're competitive, especially in clothing."
New To You Thriftique holds promotions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, which include reduced prices on clothing, accessories, books and dvds. And while half-off necklaces and kids clothes attract shoppers, Thriftique volunteers pride themselves on their ability to give back.
'Part of Family'
"Last week, a woman came in here who had lost her home in a fire," Heaton, explained. "We decided to help her and we donated items to her."
Giving, in general, is a well-known concept to the volunteers that work at the sore.
"We really appreciate the sense of community here in Golden Valley," Weiss said. "Beth and I don't live here, but we feel like we are totally part of the family. Everyone is so supportive."