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Thrifty’s plans July 1 opening

By Staff | Jun 12, 2008

Judy Iverson and LouAnn Swenson sort through the donated clothing. EDN photos by Samantha Heerdt

A new Estherville business is receiving help from a source most start-up operations don’t receive–other businesses.

This store is different from others in its employees and who it benefits.

Thrifty’s, a thrift store sponsored by ECHO PLUS, will be open for business Tuesday, July 1. It will be located at 12 S. Sixth St. Thrifty’s will be open Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

“We hope the store will fill a niche in the community,” said Dan Youngblut, executive director of ECHO PLUS. “It will provide an alternative place to shop because of prices going up. People will be able to find a bargain and save money.”

The new store will also provide a place for ECHO PLUS participants to gain experience in retail and sorting. ECHO PLUS currently serves 153 people with disabilities in Emmet and Dickinson counties.

All of the money generated from Thrifty’s will be used to fund ECHO PLUS programs. For the first time in 30 years ECHO PLUS has faced a tough budget. Eventually the money generated will provide funding for ECHO PLUS participants.

Several local businesses have been instrumental with the start of Thrifty’s. Evans Clothing and This ‘N That, both located in Spirit Lake, have donated clothing fixtures. Computer Zone in Estherville donated a computer which will be used to make signs for the store, as well as retail fixtures. Building Centers of Estherville donated the wood which has been used to create store fixtures. Sieverts Carpeting has also made significant donations.

“We are proud to belong to the Estherville retail communtiy,” said Youngblut.

“The community is excited about having Thrifty’s here,” said LouAnn Swenson, who will manage the store. “I already had one person try to shop the racks.”

Thrifty’s is currently accepting donations. Clothing and household items that are in useable, saleable condition will be accepted. They will not accept large appliances, televisions, computer components or cribs.

“The amount of donations has been great, even without much advertising,” said Youngblut. “We are very grateful for the generous donations we have received so far.”

Thrifty’s will also feature a Kid’s Corner, which will provide a place for children to be entertained while their parents shop.

Volunteers are needed to help sort items and set up the store. They will also be needed to work once the store is open. Three or more people from ECHO PLUS will be working in the store each day. There are various duties available, including register, sorting and taking donations. An orientation for the volunteers will be held closer to the opening date.

Interested volunteer may contact Thrifty’s at 712-362-2350.