The River House Resale will hold Sale-A-Bration to mark one-year anniversary
Tue, 08/18/2020 - 12:46pm caleb
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Like the motto for The River House Resale Shop – “Chasing Dreams” – store leaders having been chasing a date to mark their first year in business.
In November 2019, The River House Shelter, Inc. purchased the building that housed the Sears store in Grayling, located at 6375 M-72 West, from owner Randy Crocker.
After months of renovations through volunteer labor and donated materials, The River House Resale held a grand opening celebration on June 28-29, 2019.
Store officials planned to hold a one-year anniversary celebration, but had to keep delaying the event due to Michigan’s stay-at-home order and restrictions regarding gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The store was closed from March 24 until it opened back up on June 2.
“We just had to keep pushing it to different days for different reasons,” said Jennifer Thompson, the store manager at The River House Resale.
Thompson volunteered at the resale store from December through February. She then took a position at the River House Shelter, Inc. as a house advocate.
Thompson said she was drawn back to the resale shop when the store manager’s position became available in mid-June. She said she likes networking with people, helping people, and dealing with the merchandise.
“I really wanted to be part of the mission at River House,” Thompson said. “I just felt drawn to the position. I love dealing with the people every day, talking to customers, and trying to help people.”
Now, a Sale-A-Bration will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the store on Saturday, September 5. There will be 50 percent off clothing sales with a focus on back-to-schoolsales. Also, a hot dog, chips, drinks, watermelon, and cake lunch will be offered for a $1 donation.
Earlier this month, the store held a back-to-school sale for college students in a tent outside the building. Those sales will carry on as the traditional opening day for school approaches for local students.
“We’re trying at this time on the weekends to do bag sales for kids for back-to-school, clothing, book bags, and shoes,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the stay-at-home order had some impact on bringing in revenues, but the lack of being able to hold events to support the shelter has had a big impact on fund-raising and obtaining grants.
“Our budget has not suffered too tremendously because the thrift store is still relatively new,” Thompson said.
Keitha K. Lochinski started as the volunteer coordinator The River House Shelter, Inc. in July. She replaced a person who left due to the COVID-19 pandemic and decided not to return.
Her efforts are focused on recruiting volunteers to staff the resale store, because no volunteers are allowed at the shelter due to social distancing restrictions.
The volunteers focus on sorting through items in the resale store’s storage area to make them available in store displays.
“There is a huge amount of stuff back there that needs to be gone through and brought out,” Lochinski said.
Lochinski has a history of working in administrative roles for the hospital and coordinating volunteers as well as running adult foster care homes and working for Hospice.
“I’ve dabbled in everything,” Lochinski said.
Lochinski said she enjoys bargain hunting, which drew her to the resale store.
“My husband and I love to go to estate sales, garage sales, and that kind of stuff,” she said. “This is like one big treasure hunt, especially when you start digging in the back. You never know what you’re going to find, so it’s a lot of fun. It’s a happy place to work.”
Area residents and visitors are encouraged to come to the store during the Sale-A-Bration to meet Thompson and Lochinski and learn how other organizations may work with the store in the future to benefit the community.
“I think people will be really surprised at the quality we have here,” Lochinski said. “We get a lot of stuff that still has tags on them from the store.”