Harlem's nonprofit thrift store, dubbed "The Harlem Boutique" by one of its volunteers, needs help.
Specifically, the store needs more items to sell and more volunteers to help sell them.
Attic Treasures is a community thrift store operated by five volunteers, said Ann Blalock, one of the volunteers. The store is open five days a week -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
Blalock said anyone who is willing to donate even a few hours would be appreciated.
"If they can only give us two hours every Tuesday, that would be wonderful," she said.
Donated items to be sold in the store also are needed, especially furniture and household items, Blalock said. The store often donates items such as furniture and clothing to families in need.
Attic Treasures opened in 2005 as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. But as volunteer support waned in 2006, it came close to closing. The store was then taken over as a Hands On Harlem project.
It closed in February 2006 while moving to a neighboring location at 193 N. Louisville St., in downtown Harlem, and reopened in April 2006.
Now, Blalock said she'd like to see some changes and updates, including the addition of a consignment area, where arts and crafts will be sold for a 30 percent commission to benefit the store.
"One of the things we want is a consignment area, where we will take art, handmade items from Harlem," Blalock said, adding that arts and crafts items can include paintings, knitted and crocheted items, birdhouses and folk art.
Blalock said part of the store also will be turned into a learning center for arts and crafts workshops.
In the past, proceeds from the store have benefitted the American Cancer Society, L.O.T.S. Ministries Inc. in Augusta, Hands Up Ministries in Harlem, Saturday Snacks food program and the Children's Resource Center in Appling.
Blalock said the charities the store supports will be considered quarterly based on resources.
"It is a given we will always do something for the Relay for Life," Blalock said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call Blalock at (706) 556-6656. Donations can be dropped off during business hours.
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