Non-profit store successful in its first year of providing used furniture options

Hunter Herbaugh
Sunday, July 5, 2020
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The Neighbors Helping Neighbors Furniture and More store allows local customers to support local organizations while also being a source of inexpensive furniture.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a not for profit furniture store in downtown Glendive. It was opened in March 2019 following the closure of the Second Chance Furniture and More furniture store. While that version of the store was a non-profit that donated the funds it raised to the Boys and Girls Club, Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a non-profit thrift store that converts donations into financial support for other charitable organizations in Dawson County.

According to store director Tina Carter, the idea for the store was started back in October 2018 following the closure of Second Chance. With that store closed, Carter and other locals set their sites on opening another non-profit to hopefully benefit the whole community.

“We knew there was a need in the community after the Boys and Girls Club store closed, so we started Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” Carter said.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors board president Amy Casini echoed Carter’s statement, noting that there are plenty of community members that benefit from having an affordable furniture store available to them.

“We’re happy we can serve individuals that are in need. Anytime we can help the community, we’ll be happy to,” Casini said.

The store is staffed by volunteers and they are the ones who decide which organizations the store donates to. This works by “banking” the volunteer’s hours, granting them an equivalent of an hourly wage that is then paid to the charitable organization of their choice at the end of the year. At the end of last year, the store made donations to three local organizations: the Dawson Community College Foundation, the Food Bank and DCC Athletics. Though they couldn’t recall the exact amount that was donated, Carter noted it was likely about $200 for each one. Casini added that while the donations weren’t large, they were still happy they were able to help.

“They’re not big, large amounts but we were able to help and that made us feel good,” Casini said.

The items in the store are also mostly donated. Carter explained that they are able to take almost any household item, though there are some things they can’t take, such as large box TVs and large electrical appliances. The store also gets some of its inventory from item sales and estate sales as well.

After being in operation for a little over a year, Carter said the support the community has shown for the store has been overwhelming.

“The community loves this store,” Carter said.

She has especially been impressed with activity in the store lately, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and high profile closures in the oil field and railroad have many people worried about local businesses being hit hard. The store even had to close temporarily due to the state lock down, but when they were able to open again, the community helped them get back on track. Additionally, since there has been an influx of people moving into Glendive from other states, they have even managed to gain new customers.

The store still does need more volunteers. Having more volunteers would mean more local organizations getting donations. Carter is currently running the store on her own during the week with the board members taking turns running the store on Saturdays.

“We would love to have volunteers, whether it’s one hour or whatever,” Carter said.

For the future, Casini said the group currently doesn’t have any major projects planned. She said that they first need to work to become sustainable, as they are still a relatively young operation.

The biggest thing the group hopes to do is buy the building they are currently in. Carter explained that while she and the board are happy with their current lease agreement, there are some things they would like to change but can’t due to them not owning the property themselves, such as removing certain walls to allow them to expand their show room floor. They are also currently working on getting a grant to help them purchase a cargo trailer that will be useful for moving inventory.

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