EAPL picks up where Habitat for Humanity leaves off

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By Stephen Knapp

Die-hard thrift shop habitus lamenting the demise of Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity’s thrift shop can take heart. By mid-March, the Evergreen Animal Protective League will reopen the Bryant Drive emporium, offering barking bargains at purr-fect prices.

“We take possession on March 1, then we have a bunch of cleaning and painting to do,” says longtime EAPL volunteer Isobel McQuiston. “We’re going to start taking donations on March 6, then open about a week later.”

In addition to the expected trove of clothing, furniture, decorative items, linens, kitchenware and small appliances, the old/new thrift shop will offer an array of pet-centric treasures. Proceeds, naturally, will further the 27-year-old EAPL’s worthy efforts to offer aid and comfort to the mountain area’s most vulnerable — and furriest — residents. So how did EAPL get involved in retail? It’s the doggoned-est thing.

“It all kind of came about when Habitat announced it was closing the store,” McQuiston explains. “People came to us and said there was a need for a second thrift store in Evergreen. But we’ve never done anything like that. We take care of cats and dogs.”

Still, the idea tempted, and EAPL’s membership held an exploratory powwow. They received ample positive public feedback and the full support of Evergreen Christian Outreach –—which operates the thrift store at Evergreen North Shopping Center — but, as one might expect, it all came down to the animals.

“This is the largest fund-raising effort we’ve ever tried, and the revenues from the store will allow us to help a lot more animals,” McQuiston says. “But the store will operate as an independent entity within the organization. No donations to EAPL will be used to operate the store.”

EAPL tapped Dana Snider and Lisa Tussey to run the shop. As co-managers, they’ll also be the organization’s first-ever paid staff. In addition, a small army of volunteers stands ready to lend a paw as needed.

“A lot of the volunteers who worked with Habitat are staying on to volunteer with us. And we’ll be working in close concert with EChO.”

The store is located at 30496 Bryant Drive, and hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Donations can be dropped off between those hours starting March 6.

“The best part about this is we’ll be helping animals and people,” McQuiston says. “A lot of people need a place to buy affordable merchandise, and the revenues from the store will help a lot of cats and dogs. ‘McQuiston’ is Scottish, you know. I’m a thrifter myself.”

To learn more about the Evergreen Animal Protective League, visit www.eapl.com or call 303-674-6442.