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We won't send a ton of junk, just the good stuff.
Social responsibility is much more than recycling. Kearney, Grand Island, and Hastings each offer retail opportunities for those who want one-of-a-kind products that simultaneously support local business and different causes.
Started in 2002, this consignment store sells high-quality, gently-used clothing; handmade, reclaimed fixtures; and furniture. Marcy DeJonge purchased Refind in 2011. She began managing the store in 2003, just after graduating from UNK.
"My passion comes from always wanting something unique when I was younger. So, I shopped a lot of thrift, a lot of consignment to find unique items that not everybody else has," said DeJonge. "Also, being in college, I was on a budget, so it's nice to be able to provide it."
Refind keeps a "wish list" for their customers and if a particular item becomes available, they let that customer know.
They carry works of local artists, one of which is handmade jewelry from Jordin's Hope. A cancer survivor, the artist donates a portion of her proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
DeJonge said Refind donates all items that don't sell after a period of time to the Salvation Army in Kearney, keeping them out of landfills.
"There are a lot of people who don't have the means to buy new. We get calls from the SAFE Center asking if we have suits and business attire for people who cannot afford to go to the mall and buy one. So, it helps the community in more ways than one," said DeJonge.
For more unique finds, “Like” Refind on Facebook.
ReStore—Grand Island, Neb.
ReStore is run by Habitat for Humanity and sells surplus and reusable home improvement goods. Items like doors, flooring, and new paint are donated and sold at prices that made this reporter look twice and say, "What?!"
According to their website, purchases help Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity fund their housing programs. It is the second ReStore to open in Nebraska and provides low priced options for people looking to spruce up a home or office.
Housed in the historic Hastings Middle School, Reclamation opened their doors in November 2013. Lisa and Melanie Hiatt are a mother-daughter duo who had been selling artwork online. Melanie found their current space in the Middle School when she was looking for somewhere to host a garage sale. Being located in the historic building fits the company's goals of repurposing.
"It was sort of like the world was telling us that all of these things we had been talking about for years needed to happen, and could happen," Melanie said.
Lisa worked for a utilities company for over 20 years before deciding to leave what she was doing to open Reclamation and start living a life where she felt truly fulfilled.
"I want to do something that really fulfills me, that I feel is making a difference," Lisa said. "Not just in our lives, but in others' lives. As life starts flying by, you start to ask, 'Is what I'm doing having an impact? Will it change anything?'"
Each item at Reclamation makes a difference. Melanie and Lisa have a strict selection process when it comes to the products available to their customers.
Their quirky merchandise cannot be anywhere else in Hastings and also serves a greater good. They carry fair trade goods, local artists' works, upcycled products (new goods created from used goods, creating a higher quality product), and vintage pieces.
For the Hiatts, it's more than selling a necklace or a hat. They sell stories. They know the history of each piece in their shop, who benefits from the purchase, and exactly what the proceeds support.
Reclamation also hosts special events to support local charities. They select a charity for a month or two and donate a portion of every purchase made during that period to their selected charity.
For more information about Reclamation, follow them on Facebook/OldSchoolReclamation.
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