[Nfbmo] [MALWARE FREE]New Image Thrift Store opens at new site Missouri Council ofthe Blind has assumed management of store
horchemg at gary-springfield-mo.net
Thu Dec 8 15:00:35 UTC 2011
>From the Springfield News Leader The Missouri Council of the Blind New Image Thrift Store is back in business.
The store is not only bigger and brighter at its new location, it is now under new management -- the Missouri Council of the Blind has taken over direct management of the store.
That change should mean better service and an opportunity for donors and shoppers to directly impact services offered to the blind in the state, said William Hawkins, member of the board for the Council of the Blind.
"We want to thank all the folks who have donated in the past," said Hawkins, who lives in Kansas City. "We want them to know that 100 percent will go to the Council of the Blind now."
Bigger, betterUntil October, the thrift store had been managed by Henderson Management for 22 years, with the council receiving a small percentage of the profits. A disagreement over the terms of the contract led the council to end that relationship. The former store location on West Kearney Street was closed, with the store moving about two blocks away to 2713 N. Kansas Expressway.
The new location in the Town & Country Shopping Center, leased from Jared Enterprises, is 17,000 square feet, nearly 3,000 square feet larger than the previous location. Owner Curtis Jared has transformed the former theater to provide four large showrooms, as well as a front showroom where store registers will be located.
There are large men's and women's restrooms, and a community room that will soon be available to the two local Council of the Blind service clubs and other nonprofits.
Upstairs there are offices that allow manager Virgil Calhoun to view all of the showrooms.
With two large rooms in the rear of the building, the store has an on-site storage and sorting area.
The former theater entry will soon be walled off for a Five Guys Burgers and Fries, expected to open early next year.
Jared, who has donated to the thrift store in the past, has owned the shopping center for two years and is pleased with the new tenants.
"You pray that something comes along that works," he said. "I want to make sure to help as much as possible, to go above and beyond."
More servicesHawkins and the council board will oversee the thrift store, with Calhoun managing the day-to-day operations. Nine other employees, who all worked for the previous store, now work directly for the council.
A goal is to hire employees who are visually challenged, said Hawkins. "We will create opportunities for them."
The new management arrangement will also provide more services for the blind, he said.
Last year, the council spent $256,000 on services, including scholarships, equipment and technology, emergency assistance, youth camp and more.
By taking over direct management of the operation, income will increase dramatically, Hawkins said. The results will also be dramatic.
"We will be able to double our programs," he predicted. "It's going to benefit us long term."
Denny Huff, president of the council's board, agreed:
"This is something we should have done a lot sooner."
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