Medical Lake thrift store director Anne Starr leads thriving nonprofit

The Care and Share Thrift Retailer in Medical Lake has served each common buyers who dwell in the neighborhood and people who come from Spokane and Coeur d’Alene to benefit from particular gross sales and get good offers on every little thing from dishes to winter coats.

Director Anne Starr has been a volunteer on the retailer for 18 years and its director for 16. When she began, the thrift retailer shared an extended, slim constructing at 211 N. Lefevre St. with the city’s meals financial institution. However through the years the shop has carried out so nicely that the meals financial institution has its personal constructing, the unique constructing was transformed and an annex was added to showcase furnishings donations.

Starr, who will not be paid, oversees a staff of six volunteers who run the shop each Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to five p.m. “Nobody will get paid,” she stated. “We have now an ideal staff. They’re only a pleasure to be round. The purchasers love them.”

All of the proceeds from the shop are used to help the meals financial institution.

“We pay each utility they’ve there,” Starr stated. “We pay for his or her provides, we pay for meals.”

However the thrift retailer’s charity doesn’t finish there. There’s an outreach workplace within the meals financial institution and if somebody has a particular want, comparable to a lady fleeing home violence who wants garments and kitchen objects for a brand new condominium, Starr and her volunteers present the wanted objects freed from cost.

“We give them every little thing, from garments to footwear to hats to pajamas,” she stated.

Starr stated she’s typically amazed by the tales she hears from buyers, lots of whom are down on their luck for one motive or one other, whether or not it’s well being points or lack of a job.

“You suppose you may have it robust?” she stated. “No.”

Starr discovered the thrift retailer when she and her husband moved right here after his retirement from the Military. He raises and trains falcons, and he or she was on the lookout for one thing to maintain her busy. She discovered it. It’s commonplace to dedicate at the very least 60 hours every week to the shop.

“All of us should get away from bed every single day with a objective,” she stated. “It’s my objective. It’s a labor of affection. I really like what I’m doing.”

The shop affords garments, linens, blankets, kitchen objects, footwear, purses and extra. Proper now there are a variety of Christmas decorations out there, and there’s a particular space for pet fashions. A whole wall is lined with books. With paperbacks promoting for 50 cents and hardbacks for $1, Starr stated there are some common clients who come and browse the books continuously. Something by James Patterson or John Grisham is often a scorching vendor.

“The Nora Roberts’ are flying out the door,” she stated.

Each Christmas Starr takes donations she has put aside in the course of the yr and creates giant present baskets to raffle off. This yr there are 4 baskets that includes Seahawks swag, a basket packed stuffed with classic Sizzling Wheels automobiles nonetheless within the packaging and a cooking-themed basket. Tickets are $1 every or six for $5. The drawing is scheduled for Dec. 23.

Nevertheless it all received shut down in March when the primary pandemic closure started. Starr and her volunteers couldn’t promote something, however that didn’t cease folks from donating. Ultimately Starr needed to have town put up barricades so folks couldn’t drop off donations.

“It was on the road, after which it rained or snowed,” she stated.

When the thrift retailer opened again up, folks got here again in quest of offers.

“They have been thrilled, the shoppers,” she stated. “It was like a homecoming. It is a actually social, welcoming place for folks on this city.”

Starr stated she thinks the necessity for low-cost objects has elevated, and he or she’s heard clients discuss dropping their jobs. And it’s commonplace for her to see clients from as far-off as Coeur d’Alene, notably if there’s a giant sale. The weekly gross sales are introduced on the shop’s Fb web page.

“That’s why they do come right here, due to the costs,” she stated. “They do come again.”

However the donations are nonetheless coming, too, retaining her cabinets full.

“All that is donated,” she stated. “God bless these folks.”

– Nina Culver may be reached at

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