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Accessible and affordable / Christmas is every day at Damascus House

Store manager Michelle Neiswender prices a donated comforter before placing the item in the store’s showroom. “Every day is like Christmas!” is the way Neiswender describes working at Dasmascus House Resale Shop, 212 Smith St.Monroe resident Mina Loturco stops in Damascus House Resale Shop once a week to shop.Volunteer Ron Fear decorates a tabletop tree with red bulbs. The retired school counselor and former owner of a flower shop spends most of time recycling and creating wreaths and centerpieces to sell.Duane Bosenbark carefully wraps ceramic plates for a customer. The LaSalle resident is a volunteer at Damascus House Resale Shop.Sally Bosenbark of LaSalle works in a back room sorting items and inspecting clothing before anything is priced and placed in the showroom.Store manager Michelle Neiswender sorts through bags and boxes of donated items. “Every day is like Christmas!” is the way Neiswender describes working at Damascus House Resale Shop, 212 Smith St.

“Every day is like Christmas!” is the way in which Michelle Neiswender describes working at Dasmascus House Resale Shop, 212 Smith St.

“We get donations every day and every bag or field we open has some sort of shock ready for us. As we get nearer to the vacations, we’ll get drop-offs all through the day and every donation will inform its personal story,” she mentioned. “Maybe it’s someone who is moving and had to downsize or it’s a loved one that has passed away and the family wants to donate their items to a good cause.”

Neiswender, a grad scholar attending Spring Arbor University within the social work program, manages the thrift retailer and all proceeds help the Philadelphia House, a homeless shelter for males in Monroe.

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Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the shop shares important objects like clothes, furnishings, and housewares at affordable costs.

Items, like clothes, are categorized in sections. One nook of the shop is devoted to kids’s objects like toys and dolls. In one other part of the shop is a library the place books are organized by the writer.

“I got in this line of work as my family has always been involved in helping others. My late grandmother, Jewell Bosenbark, would always help at church,” Neiswender mentioned. “My parents have always been involved in helping others in the community by coaching softball teams to hosting women’s bible study groups.”

Millard and Jimmie Neiswender, Michelle’s dad and mom, function a non-profit group known as Hotline to God Ministries which umbrellas Damascus House and Philadelphia House.

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Many of the shop’s clients are native like Monroe resident Mina Loturco who stops in as soon as per week to buy. Volunteer Jenni Couturier of Carleton was a loyal buyer earlier than she began volunteering two years in the past.

“What I like about this place is that it’s accessible and affordable for everyone,” Couturier mentioned. “It gives back to the community and for me, volunteering is the best way for me to give back.”

All of the employees at Damascus House are volunteers together with Neiswender’s uncle and aunt, Duane and Sally Bosenbark of LaSalle.

Duane greets clients and providers the entrance counter whereas Sally works within the again room sorting objects and inspecting clothes earlier than something is priced and positioned within the showroom.

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Monroe resident Ron Fear not too long ago began volunteering at the shop. The retired college counselor and former proprietor of a flower store spends most of his time creating in one of many again rooms.

“I saw a huge room they call the ‘flower room’ and said, ‘I could sort through that room and salvage what I can to make Christmas wreaths and floral arrangements’,” Fear mentioned. “Now, starting next week, I’ll start making spring wreaths and arrangements. I spend winters south so I need to get spring items ready ahead of time for the shop.”

By recycling and repurposing objects which were donated, Fear estimates he’s made 50 vacation wreaths and 30 desk preparations for the shop to promote.

“I feel the benefits of volunteering is to be able to give back to my community. Most of my time is spent in the back in the flower room but I take breaks to wander in the front of the store to say hello to the customers,” he mentioned. “Many folks come every day so you get to know the customers. To see people come in and you see what basic essentials they buy to survive gives you a warm feeling that the store helps out those folks. It’s not to say all shoppers are needy, about half of the other group of shoppers are just smart shoppers and find tons of bargains.”

“Each thrift store in Monroe is unique in how they support the community with their particular products. Damascus House has been in the community for over 45 years supporting those who are in need with a smile and kind heart,” Neiswender added. “We also work with about 15 other organizations in Monroe County to support those who are in need.”

The 45-year-old mentioned thrift retailer procuring not solely advantages the group nevertheless it’s fulfilling.

“Customers should indulge in thrift store shopping as it supports your community but a person can find some very unique items or brand-new items,” she added. “It’s fun to look and find some treasures. Take time to look around, you never know what you will find.”

Lisa Vidaurri Bowling is a contributor to The Monroe News.

Damascus House Resale Shop

Location: 212 Smith St.

Services: Store shares important objects like clothes, furnishings, and housewares at affordable costs. All proceeds help the Philadelphia House, a homeless shelter for males in Monroe.

Hours:  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

Facebook: https://www.fb.com/Damascus-House-Resale-Shop-629241700830287/

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