LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- Every aspect of our community has changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including nonprofits. In this Weeks Always Together Always Local we are featuring Millie's Thrift Stores which uses its revenue to give back to a local school system.
Since its inception, the revenue from Millie's Thrift Store has been benefiting the Lafayette Catholic School system.
"It goes into a major fund and specifically tagged for the teachers," said Stephen Leitch the advisor for Millie’s Thrift Store.
The thrift shop had to close for around 8 weeks during the height of the pandemic.
"It was a bit devastating because so many people in the community rely on us here," added Leitch.
The business has been doing well since the store has re-opened and donations have increased which has been positive during this tough time.
"The number of customers coming through the door since re-opening has doubled according to our data," said Leitch.
However, there is a problem the store been facing since re-opening. Many of its volunteers aren't available to help out.
"All of our volunteers the average age is about 70,” added Leitch. “I am sure they will kill me for saying that but they are about 70 years old so they are high risk so they can't be here."
As a result, Millie's Thrift Shop has had to make some changes on top of safety requirements.
"We had to completely change our business model from volunteer-driven to now hiring some wonderful high school young men and women and some Purdue students as well," said Leitch.
That change has taken away from the amount of money they are able to donate to the school system.
"Of course that eats into our profits. As wonderful as they are it hurts us that we can't give as much money back," added Leitch.
Millie’s Thrift Store takes part in a job program where they provide work and retail experience for people getting back on their feet which they hope to continue.
The store is open Monday-Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM. If you are interested in volunteering, you can stop by the store during business hours to learn how you can do so. If you have a business or organization you would like to see featured in our Always Together Always Local segment send us an email with a suggestion. For more information about the shop or to buy items online click here.