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Friends of the Carpenter to close 2nd Chance Thrift Store

Last day to donate is Sat., Sept. 22; closing sale to begin Oct. 1

VANCOUVER — Friends of the Carpenter (FOC) will close operations at the 2nd Chance Thrift Store, 3414 NE 52nd St, Vancouver, by the end of calendar year 2018. Sept. 22 will mark the last official day to donate to the Store; a closing sale will begin on Oct. 1 and will continue for several weeks.

“After much thought and prayer, an exhaustive review of historical sales and expense reports, and with the unanimous support of the Friends of the Carpenter Board of Directors, we have come to the compelling conclusion that closing the 2nd Chance Thrift Store is necessary for the overall health of the FOC Ministry and to put our focus back on our primary mission,” said Tom Iberle, executive director. “This decision did not come lightly and included numerous factors, such as declining sales, increased expenses, and national trends in changing conditions to the thrift store industry as a whole. We are deeply grateful to the founders, donors, shoppers, and volunteers who supported the Store for the past nine years.”

Store sales have been steadily in decline since 2013, during which the highest point of gross sales was reached at $166,000. A historical low occurred in 2017, with sales just over $115,000. In the same year, facilities, accounting, and administrative staff time expenses resulted in a net income of just $16,000.

As to the conditions in the thrift store industry, Iberle notes that, “the array of options for used goods, such as Craigslist and other online sites, is reducing donations, especially of the high-margin items like furniture.”

The FOC board is working to address the expected shortfall for the 2019 budget. They will also review action items within FOC’s 2016-2020 Strategic Framework to refocus on participant programs core to their mission, and strengthening and expanding partnerships, which include, but are not limited to: local ministries, Food with Friends, Hands of Favor, Partners in Careers, Open House Ministries, Lifeline Connections, Southwest Washington Woodturners, and special needs agencies, including Goldman and Associates, Innovative Service Northwest, Keys to Advancement, SL Start, and Vancouver Public Schools GATE Program.

FOC staff and board are also in the process of exploring options for the liquidation of 2nd Chance Thrift Store inventory once doors are closed.

Friends of the Carpenter was incorporated in Vancouver in Oct. 1998 and began as a vision of a practical outreach of simple welcome and personal interaction between volunteers from the church and people living in poverty. Since the beginning, regular contact has been made with the homeless and poor persons of our community through woodworking events scheduled throughout the community and which, today, are held at FOC’s Friendship Center. The mission: Friends of the Carpenter is a nonprofit, faith-based day facility that provides safety, structure and purpose for vulnerable members of our community.

Learn more at friendsofthecarpenter.org.

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