By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Hours of planning and remodeling are complete, and a new thrift store will open in Imperial on Monday, March 8.
St. Isidore Gift and Thrift is located at the former St. Patrick Church Friendship Hall at 746 Broadway. It is an effort of Catholic Social Services and the Diocese of Lincoln, with St. Patrick’s Church serving as its “host.”
Several “dignitaries” from Catholic Social Services in Hastings and Lincoln will be here Monday for the Grand Opening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Included among the special guests will be Fr. Chris Kubat of Lincoln, director of Catholic Social Services for the Diocese.
Bill Sullivan, a member of St. Patrick Church, has been involved in the planning from the start, along with church pastor, Fr. Bernard Lorenz.
Three walls were removed in the former Friendship Hall, which opens up the space formerly divided into three classrooms. Volunteers also repainted the area.
All items for sale in the store have been donated by people in Imperial and surrounding communities, and are “gently used,” Sullivan said.
Prices are reasonable, and anyone is invited to come shop there, he added. Prices are firm, and there will be no negotiating.
A look through the store this week showed it packed with furniture, household goods, knick-knacks and more.
Plans are to eventually tear down the former Friendship Hall with St. Patrick’s new hall now in use. If the store is successful, it may then be moved eventually to another location.
Catholic Social Services also operates similar thrift stores in Hastings, Lincoln and Auburn.
The store in Auburn, which is a little larger community than Imperial, is realizing about $900 per month in profits, all of which is being dispensed to families in need in that area. That effort in aiding those in need from the store’s profits will be mirrored here at St. Isidore Gift and Thrift.
While items to be donated are preferred to be dropped off at the store, pickup of larger loads can be arranged, Sullivan said. Those making purchases will be expected to take their items away themselves. All of the workers in the store will be volunteers.
Sullivan said items donated to the store should be in good, usable condition. The store retains the right to refuse items, he said.
The mission of this endeavor is to help those in need, Sullivan noted, so if store volunteers have to pay to dispose of items due to their condition, “it takes away from our mission.”
Sullivan said the thrift store opening here has evolved from a “rolling thrift store” that came to Imperial through Catholic Social Services several years ago, and was very well attended. Tim and Tammy May donated the use of their Frenchman Valley Produce building for that two-day event, and “it’s evolved from there,” Sullivan said.
Not long after the “rolling thrift store” was here, Catholic Social Services started looking for a building in Imperial. But until St. Patrick’s Church built its new hall, which vacated use of the Friendship Hall next door, nothing feasible could be acquired.
St. Patrick’s is donating use of the former Friendship Hall, and all profits derived after expenses will go to struggling families in the area.
St. Isidore is patron saint
of farmers and laborers
Some residents may ask why the name St. Isidore was chosen for the thrift and gift shop.
Isidore lived from 1070 to 1130, in Spain, and is known as the patron of farmers and rural communities. He is also the patron saint of Madrid, Spain and the U.S. National Rural Life Conference.
When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, he began to work for a wealthy landowner in Madrid. He was known for his love of the poor, and also had concern for the ethical treatment of animals.
Isidore was declared a saint by the Catholic Church in 1622.
Sullivan said naming the store in honor of St. Isidore fits well in this agriculturally-centered community.
St. Isidore Gift and Thrift
746 Broadway, Imperial
Chest of drawers
Household items (glassware, utensils, etc.)
Hours of operation (tentative):
Wednesday 3 to 7 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 noon