One area nonprofit is embarking on a brand-new funding stream this weekend. The Assistance League of Greater Wilmington—whose community volunteers provide school uniforms to children in need, prune hospital gardens, and moonlight as puppeteers bearing anti-bullying messages—is cutting the ribbon at its newest philanthropic venture, a thrift store. The operation is expected to pull in $100,000 to $200,000 annually.
One of just three chapters in the state, Wilmington’s Assistance League is comprised primarily of retired women. And in its first six years, the League relied on donations to fund its charitable ventures. This is according to chapter President Cheryll Schramm, who has spent the past two years visiting charity thrift shops across the country, and seeking branding guidance from community business leaders.
"We’re considering ourselves more of a 'thrift boutique.' A number of the women that are involved have retail experience, and they had their own shops. So when you walk into our store, it looks like somebody really knew what they were doing relative to displays. I mean it looks like, you know, a regular department store."
Schramm says The Assistance League has been busy collecting quality household items, antiques, books and clothing to re-sell. She adds that the operation is entirely run by volunteers, and that all profits will be channeled back into the community.
***The Assistance League Thrift Shop is located at 420 Eastwood Road. The League is hosting an Open House this evening at 5:30. The Grand Opening will take place tomorrow morning when the store opens its doors at 10 a.m.