(Photo: Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project Executive Director Kim Roberts on the first day of business in the CFCP’s new ReUse Store location in Lanett, Alabama.)
Fundraising is one of the key elements of nonprofit work. One of the must successful fundraising initiatives for Fuller Center covenant partners across the United States is the ReUse Store.
Fuller Center ReUse Stores are each a little different in size and scope, but the primary mission of each ReUse store is to accept donated items such as furniture, books, clothes, household items, dinner ware, etc., and re-sell them to raise money for the local Fuller Center covenant partner’s work of building and/or repairing homes.
One of the most successful ReUse Stores has been the one run by the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project in Lanett, Alabama — Millard Fuller’s hometown. Over the years, it has become a major source of funding for the CFCP’s work, despite being housed in a rather small location for the massive amount of donated items received and the foot traffic in the store.
On Wednesday, the ReUse Store opened the doors to its new, much larger location just steps from the old, cramped space. Now located at 421 North Gilmer Avenue in Lanett, the ReUse Store now boasts about 10,000 square feet of space, allowing for better display of goods and more space for shoppers to browse comfortably. Better yet, they do not have to lease the property — they own it thanks to support from members of their community.
“The move offered more space to display the wonderful donated items to our store,” said Kim Roberts, Executive Director of the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project. “We now own our Reuse Store building thanks to so many donors in our community who believe in what the Chattahoochee Fuller Center is doing for the community.”
Fuller Center President David Snell, who has visited many Fuller Center ReUse Stores in various cities, said that such thrift shops are poised to be busier than ever.
“One result of the economic downturn we’re going through is that all of us are looking for ways to use our money a little more thoughtfully,” he said. “Now more than ever we’re looking for good deals. Now, imagine a place where you could find quality merchandise at bargain prices and, as a bonus, do the planet some good by keeping things off the garbage heap and, even better, help a family in need to be that much closer to having a decent home.
“Well, such a place exists — it’s called the Fuller Center ReUse Store, or maybe the Fuller Shop, or even the Fuller Thrift Store,” he continued. “The goal of all of these stores is the same. Through the proceeds of their sales they raise funds to build and rehabilitate houses for Fuller Center families while keeping gently used merchandise in circulation and out of the dump. Everybody wins.”
The Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project’s ReUse store is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. EDT Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.
For scenes from the ReUse Store’s grand reopening on Wednesday, check out the two videos below. The first begins with an interview with Kim Roberts: