Optimist Club Thrift Store finds new downtown location
By LYNETTE SOWELL
With time to spare, the Optimist Club Thrift Store is looking ahead to its new home after learning it would have to vacate its storefront in Cove Terrace Shopping Center.
After receiving a letter on Feb. 6 from the shopping center’s property management company that the landlord was terminating the club’s use of the storefront, the club’s volunteers were faced with finding a new space before May 6.
Tanja Ridings, Thrift Store manager, said on Wednesday that the club has found a new location at 105 E. Avenue E, in downtown Copperas Cove, after news broke about the store’s predicament.
“Do you remember we said that we can make do with 1,500 square feet? And that’s like the smallest because we have to reduce a lot. Right now, we have 2,000 square feet. Well, the place we are getting is a whopping 3,828 square feet,” Ridings said on Wednesday. She added that they are hoping to lease this location as a rent-to-own space.
She said that the shop volunteers are very excited.
“They said, ‘Oh, we need to cancel that sale, because it was a Hail Mary Sale. You know, fill a bag for $5.’”
However, they are still planning to have a relocation/moving sale, with an “outside” sale at the current store, with special pricing.
Ridings said they are continuing to raise funds, however, because the club will need to put in central heat and air at the new-to-them storefront, and put in a new floor, as well as take care of some minor repairs.
“We are looking for anyone in the community to help out, possibly give us a better price on the unit instead of us putting out as much as $8,000. Again, that will just affect what they wanting to donate this year,” she said. “We want to be able to give this to the next generation, which I think at this point is very, very important. We want to, stay put and not have anybody from California that sits behind a desk make us leave.”
The Thrift Store volunteers provide the community with cheap, or even free, items, and the store serves as an ongoing fundraiser for the Optimist Club. The club donates each year to organizations such as Cove Blue Santa and St. Jude’s. Also, they were able to provide Christmas to seven different families last year including trees, decorations, and gifts. The store provides low-cost items to customers who are on a fixed income.
Store hours are currently Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. They accept credit cards as well as cash.
If you’d like to contact the Optimist Club Thrift Store, feel free to text them at either (254)-781-9331 or (254) 206-1722.
The Club has also started a GoFundMe in an attempt to raise funds for the work needing to be done on the new storefront at https://gofund.me/ed1fd98f.