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Central Texas non-profit thrift stores set to reopen

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 12:06:22-04

As part of Phase One re-opening across Texas, thrift stores can also reopen their doors.

"We've been blessed by this community. It's like manna from heaven. People have stood up and donated money, food, water. People continue to donate items to the thrift store and it's been an incredible experience. As difficult as it's been it's also been a real blessing to see how people in Central Texas stand up for each other," said Salvation Army Waco's Major Jim Taylor.

The funding is a vital source for several non-profits in Central Texas.

"For the last six weeks, the store has been closed. As you can see we have a full house of furniture. We have all of our clothes on racks. We're ready to go!" said Major Taylor.

Major Taylor gave KXXV a virtual tour of all the precautions now in place.

"We'll be very careful on Friday and Saturday and moving forward. We are grateful that we can reopen but we will be very careful. We will have gloves for people, disinfectant wipes. We even have masks if people don't bring their own. All of our staff have been trained on sanitizing the store. We're going to do what we can to protect each other. We are going to do what we can," said Major Taylor.

They're getting creative too.

"We're going to have a bag sale out in the parking lot. We're going to roll all of our clothing racks out in the parking lot. We are going to have customers park across the street. They'll buy a bag and shop whatever they can get in that bag is what they can get. And so all the clothing will be out here," said Major Taylor.

Caritas of Waco estimates 30 percent of Wacoans live in poverty and the number could spike because of the pandemic.

"The thrift stores provide the money so we can purchase food for our clients. Especially at this time where we are seeing triple the number of clients that we normally serve so it's helpful," said Alicia Jallah of Caritas.

Their two "Hidden Treasures" stores will reopen May 6 with modified hours and capacity limits. Donations are still on hold."Thankfully we've had our thrift store staff moved over here to help with food distribution but they're anxious to get back to the stores," said Jallah.

Goodwill's retail stores plan a phased re-opening over the next several weeks too.

It's all a sign of a Central Texas rebound.Caritas of Waco will open its two Thrift Stores on a limited basis starting on Wednesday, May 6.

On that day, “Hidden Treasures” Bosque at 3912 Bosque Blvd. (254-753-0125) in Waco will be open for customers from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. “Hidden Treasures” Bellmead (254-799-0777) at 3016 Bellmead Drive will have operating hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Both stores will operate Wednesday through Saturday using these hours.

There will be limitations placed on the number of customers who can be in the store at one time. For the Bosque Hidden Treasures, up to 12 customers will be allowed in the store at one time, and for Bellmead, the limit will be 10 customers.

Customers are strongly encouraged to wear face masks while in the store, and staff will enforce adherence to social distancing.

A line leading to the check-out register will be marked on the floor to designate social distancing factors. Restrooms will not be available to customers at either store. Staff may periodically close the stores briefly to allow an opportunity to disinfect shopping carts, counters, doors, and other surfaces to protect the health of customers and store personnel.

All sales will be final.

Donations of clothing and household goods will not be accepted, and donation pick-ups will not be scheduled until further notice.

The Caritas Thrift Stores are an important feature of the organization’s service to the community, and proceeds from sales help support its emergency assistance programs.