By Lynn J. Kingsbury
The Easton Lions Thrift Store is located at 192 Washington Street (Rt 138) in the historic Easton Grange building and is opened two days a week.
This last fiscal year has seen many changes and additions from updating the use of technology to good old fashion organizing and spit and polish of the building to show off the donations for sale. Our Facebook and Easton Lions web pages have advertised our current eclectic solid wood furniture, medical devices such as a Hoveround, sport equipment, clothing (including never worn wedding dresses) and fine china.
We have built new shelving and repurposed unsellable donated furniture to display our books, music collections, brick-a-brack and pots and pans into like kind displays, polished our furniture and our customers notice and are impressed by our professional displays.
The continued increase to our fund raising coffers is truly something to be proud of from all our efforts but some of the most profound changes to the continued success is the service it provides to our community.
The gift to our customers to connect to their past by finding an object that reminds them of their grandparent’s dinners, to finding high quality gently used clothing and foot wear to help stretch a family’s budget or that special record or toy to add to their collection. The Thrift store is a gathering place for customers and Lions alike to talk about the news of the day and share a treat or two. The kids know there are lollipops and a free small stuffed animal after their patience and regulars bring our volunteer staff brownies and other treats throughout the year. We are able to share information with our customers of all of the other fund raising and charitable activities we support in and for our community. The Thrift store is also a great place for us to add to our membership, you start as a customer and soon become a member and active Lion at the Thrift Store plus the numerous events throughout the year.
We survived the freezing pipes of February 2016 forcing us to close for a week due to lack of heat and some water damage, (heat in the winter is actually a new addition in the past few years) and an April closing due to movie filming at Buddy’s Villa coming back with record sales in the following week, perhaps we became famous too.
We said good bye to Harry Lund last October, who kept us organized for years and provided leadership and vision. He and Debbie are settled into a happy retirement back to their home state, however, we keep track of him through Facebook and remind him often there is a train from there to here, but no call yet.
We have organized a call list and are expanding our volunteer list as the core group currently includes our Wednesday regulars of Ruth Calvagne, Jack Cummings, Gus Arns, John Mallers, Karen Castonguay, Lee Williams and myself and are joined on Saturdays by Fran Clifford, Matt Cioffi, Bob Grella, Matt Soeldner and our counsel Kevin McIntyre. We have welcomed the much appreciated new members of our crew to name a few Catherine Folan, Cathy Ferrone, Debbie Fayne, Debbie and Andrew Van Sluytman, Brian Sloane, Ed Pires, Henry Mehler, John Hayes and Paul Lemieux for all their hard work and ideas. (Sincere apologies for anyone I missed.)
We will continue to refine our organization staffing for regular store hours as well as special project as we move forward to provide continued fund raising for the club’s support of our community and welcome new ideas and opportunities through the Thrift Store foundation. Come join us and help us with your special talents as WE SERVE!