WELLINGTON — When the Mission Thrift Shop, 313 N. Washington, reopened last week for the first time since March, customers entered the building and said they had missed the store.
The store had to close in March because of COVID-19, but it reopened in the second week of October. The Mission Thrift Shop is open fewer days — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday — because not all the volunteers have returned, said Rosie Smith, a member of the nonprofit resale store’s board of directors and a volunteer in the store.
Volunteers wear face masks and gloves. Customers are asked to wear masks, and the store is frequently sanitized, said Smith, who has been volunteering at the store since 1993.
Customers "have been very good about wearing masks and social distancing," Smith said. "It’s a small area and it’s difficult to social distance 6 feet apart, but they’re doing it."
There are signs reminding people to wear masks and social distance. Children under age 10 are not being allowed in for safety reasons.
The store is having a half-price sale during the month of October. Many of the summer clothes that would have been sold during the summer months can go now, Smith said.
Donations can be made to the store during business hours, but throughout its closure, there were still people dropping off items in the alley.
"People walk through the alley and pick up what they want and leave the rest," Smith said. "It’s very common. We have cleaned up and asked them, ‘Please don’t leave it.’ "
Most of the store’s items are clothing. The Mission Thrift Shop doesn’t have the space for furniture and they don’t accept most baby equipment for safety reasons. Car seats that get donated get inspected by volunteers and if they are outdated, have been in a wreck or have some other problem, they are rejected.
Every volunteer has the opportunity to give a portion of the store’s sales to a nonprofit organization of their choice twice a year, but that probably won’t happen this year because of the decreased sales resulting from the store’s earlier closure, Smith said.
There are about 45 volunteers at the store, most of whom work in back and are over age 65.
"We have a good group of ladies and men who volunteer," Smith said. "They enjoy each other."