Dazzling displays at the Hillcrest Hope Thrift Store

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Hillcrest Hope Thrift Store at 7 W. Mill Street in Liberty. Proceeds from the store flow directly back into the transformational housing program, serving the families working to turn their lives around. From the day its doors were opened, the thrift store has been a proud symbol of the Hillcrest Hope program, offering outstanding customer service and a unique shopping experience. Part of this unique experience are the carefully crafted visual displays the volunteers prepare throughout the store.

Creating classy and stylish visual displays for the Hillcrest Hope Thrift Store has its challenges. Five year volunteer Audrey Baker explains. “We don’t pick the merchandise, the merchandise picks us. We have great uncertainty in our inventory, and I can’t imagine another retail shop with a broader customer base, in terms of wants and needs, than us.”

But these unique obstacles don’t stop Audrey from volunteering more than 30 hours a week to help create a vibrant, eye-catching visual environment. “I’ve been so blessed in my life, giving back to my community brings me so much joy. The more we sell, the more good we do for our wonderful charity. And, we sell more when we show our customers how much we love our merchandise.”

Dolores Sprague spent hours on Black Friday creating a cohesive and elegant holiday setting. The two-hour project quickly became more than four because customers kept purchasing her displays as soon as she unveiled her work of art. “I know I’ve done a good job when I have to redo the same display half a dozen times in a single day because the products keep flying off the shelves,” Dolores says.

Creating inventive and thoughtful displays requires both patience and energy. Her sources? “I do yoga and I drink coffee. A lot of coffee,” she says. “Secondly, I retired from a profession in which I put together ‘mood settings’ for display homes. It’s what I love to do. If I can’t make masterpieces for the Louvre, there’s no place I’d rather be than Hillcrest Hope . . . wait, maybe Hawaii! But after Hawaii, this is definitely the place for me.”

These devoted volunteers not only invest their time, but they give in other generous ways as well. This year, the Hillcrest Hope Thrift Store volunteers have taken it upon themselves to provide stuffed stockings to the families in the Hillcrest Hope program. It’s all part of their dedication to helping families transform their lives.

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