Ginger Wray loves to express her creative side by repurposing furniture.
She enjoys it so much, she volunteers at a thrift store to not only give back to the community, but also to get extra ideas.
Thrift stores currently are seeing a surge in furniture donations as many are cleaning out their homes. And the local thrift stores including Love In the Name of Christ In the Heart of Florida, or Love INC., Our Mother’s Attic and Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe are benefitting from the local generosity.
“I used to come into Love INC. to find items I could repurpose including chairs and tables to fit my style,” said Wray, of the Village of Winifred. “I spent so much time in here, I made the decision to see if they needed an extra helping hand.”
Wray has only been volunteering for a few months, but when she is not working the register or stocking, she continues working her creative side.
“I redid a few chairs recently and they turned out really cute,” she said. “Love INC. holds a special place in my heart and I get to now help others express their creative side as well.”
Dana Parker, executive director for the nonprofit, said they have had a lot of furniture recently come in as people are taking the time to reorganize and redecorate.
“New items arrive every day,” she said. “But the items continue to fly off the shelves, so we continue to accept new items. You never know what you will find when you step inside the Centsible Furnishings Store.”
Volunteers at Our Mother’s Attic, a ministry of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Wildwood, are excited to welcome back clients and the opportunity to put additional donations out on the sales floor.
“Volunteers have worked hard to help out to prepare the shop for the increase of donations after we were closed for a few months and they love being back,” said Mike Leahy, manger of Our Mother’s Attic. “We aren’t currently taking linens, but we are accepting furniture and it has been interesting to see the wide variety of pieces that have came in so far.”
Leahy said he is thankful that there has been an increase because all the donations from the store go toward helping the St. Vincent Catholic Church’s other ministry of Our Mother of Mercy food pantry.
“A lot of people have needed help and its great to see that something as small as redecorating can help so many people,” Leahy said.
Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe, which is run by UF Health The Villages Hospital Auxiliary Foundation, also has seen an increase in both donations and clients.
“Volunteers love that they can work with people again,” said Lou Emmert, volunteer coordinator for UF Health The Villages Hospital Auxiliary Foundation. “All the proceeds from the store benefits the hospital and it’s interesting to hear some of the comments of shoppers who come inside. Many have come in to shop and end up finding the perfect missing piece they didn’t even know they were searching for to complete a room.”
For those who wish to donate, visit one of the three stores during normal operating hours:
Love INC is located at 15797 S. HWY 441 in Summerfield and donations are accepted on site 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Our Mother’s Attic is located at 115 S. Main St. in Wildwood and donations are accepted from 9:30 a.m. to
4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe is located at 106 W. Lady Lake Blvd. in Lady Lake and donations are accepted 10 a.m. to
4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Staff writer Andrea Davis can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5374, or firstname.lastname@example.org.