A Round of Applause for The Encore Shop Volunteer Staff

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Provided by Ingleside

What began as a relatively simple idea to ensure residents had another social engagement opportunity at Westminster at Lake Ridge back in 2002 has bloomed the past two decades into a community cornerstone known as The Encore Shop. Run solely by volunteers, and championed by lead volunteer and manager Dona Hobbs, the retail store is filled with various, repurposed home goods for purchase by residents and non-residents.

“The store is such a valuable onsite resource for home essentials, and it would not be possible to operate without the wonderful, dedicated team of resident volunteers who ensure it thrives year-round,” said Executive Director Kera Wooten.

During her 10-year tenure working in The Encore Shop, Hobbs has filled every role the shop requires from securing the goods, to pricing and stocking inventory, to advertising.

Encore’s inventory is centered around a stream of donations that are sorted into items to be sold, or goods to be recycled or shared with other non-profits who can put them to use.

“We are always keeping an eye out for hot items,” said Encore’s Salvation Army liaison Peggy Woods. “There is a lot of demand for items like cooking utensils, pots and pans, and microwaves. We take great pride in being able to locate and sell these items that are highly desired.”

According to estimates from Mrs. Hobbs, in its 20-year history of being open, The Encore Shop sales have totaled nearly $500,000.

Hobbs added, “We are thrilled that this amount of reclaimed merchandise has been useful to fellow residents, staffers, and members of the community, who are most welcome to shop at our store, which is located on the Westminster at Lake Ridge campus.”

There have been many signs of success for The Encore Shop, including the use of the store profits, which are funneled back into enhancing the campus. A recent donation directly benefitted the Westminster at Lake Ridge Memory Care neighborhood. A $16,000 contribution covered the cost of much-needed furniture.

However, one thing that can’t be measured in sales receipts and Salvation Army donations is the positive impact that the store has had on the residents and staff, standing strong at two-dozen volunteer residents.

“We all show up every day with a job to do here,” said Encore receptionist Beverly Pugh. “We all provide many hours of service and gladly support the lifecycle of our small business to benefit everyone involved, including our happy customers.”

For more information on Westminster at Lake Ridge and The Encore Shop, visit inglesideonline.org/westminster-lake-ridge/.

 

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