City Mission Thrift Stores Reopen
City Mission Thrift Stores were Closed for Retail Shopping for over Two Months during the COVID Quarantine - Reopened on May 22.
City Mission Thrift Stores were closed for retail shopping for over two months during the COVID quarantine, but they never completely closed during that time. All of City Mission’s seven thrift stores remained open to accept donations, and five of them were used as Pop-up Pantry sites to distribute food bags to those in need during the crisis. The Pop-up Pantry program gave away over 4,000 bags of food in eight weeks.
During that time, the stores were also cleaned, organized, and disinfected to ensure the safety of customers upon reopening.
“The shelves, the floors, the products were all cleaned and disinfected. Everything in the store was sanitized,” said Monongahela Store Manager Charmaine Benton.
In addition to cleaning and sanitizing, the stores were also busy processing donations. “We were overflowing with donations during the time we were closed,” Benton said. “I’ll bet they went up fifty percent.”
The stores reopened for retail shopping on May 22. “The first day we opened, we saw great support from the community,” said Benton. “Everybody was ecstatic! They missed their treasures.”
Many safety measures have been implemented, since the reopening, to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers. “The whole staff wears masks from open to close,” Benton explained. Masks are also required of customers. At the Monongahela location, a complementary mask will be provided if you do not have one. Sanitizer stations are mounted at the front and back of the stores for convenience. At the registers, plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed and floor markers have been placed every six feet to encourage social distancing within the store.
Additionally, the staff cleans and disinfects high traffic areas throughout the day. “We wipe down anything customers touch,” explained Rita Conti, Store Manager at the Belle Vernon location. “We wipe down carts, door handles, and counters all throughout the day.”
Many safety measures have been implemented, since the reopening, to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers. “The whole staff wears masks from open to close,” Benton explained. Masks are also required of customers. At the Monongahela location, a complementary mask will be provided if you do not have one. Sanitizer stations are mounted at the front and back of the stores for convenience.
Logan and Bev Ausburn of Elizabeth go to City Mission Thrift Stores two or three times per week. Typically, they shop at the Rostraver or Belle Vernon locations. They even came on the very first day the stores were open.
“We do like coming here,” Bev said. “It’s good just to get out and walk around, and there’s a variety of stuff to look at here.”
Their best find at the Rostraver City Mission Thrift Store was a pair of crystal lamps that they still use in their home. They both feel extremely safe while shopping at the stores.
“We’re trying to keep an upbeat, Christian attitude in our stores during these trying times,” said Benton. She also wanted to remind everyone that, “Your purchase supports the homeless, the hungry, and our veterans in need.”
Visit www.citymission.org/stores for store hours and locations.
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