Thrift shop promises funding, vocational training for IES

Resale shop aims to open near Harrison doors in north building


Jon Nacionales

Melynda Kroeger has begun the sorting process of the items to be sold at the new thrift shop.

Students may see a new venue to spend their money for a good cause in school during the upcoming semester. The Individualized Education Services Department is making plans to open a student thrift shop at Jones.

The idea for the thrift shop was born after an anonymous donor network contacted IES Department Chair Melynda Kroeger and donated several items Thursday, Jan. 15. Among the items were used clothes, bags, shoes, jackets, books, dishes and even furniture. Kroeger had initially wanted to see if any students who needed any of the items or knew anyone who did were willing to come and get them for free.

“I asked Ms. Driver to send an email asking students who wanted to look at any of the items and get some to come over to my office,” Kroeger said. When no students came, Kroeger though of another way to put the donated clothes to good use: a student-run thrift shop.

According to Kroeger the prospective thrift shop would benefit students three-fold: students who enjoy vintage clothing or would like to buy inexpensive clothes will have easy access at Jones, the IES department will have more funds to bring students on community outings, and students with more severe disabilities will gain basic vocational skills.

Jolanta Hawryla ’15 is among the student population who will occasionally go to thrift stores. “If there’s any books or weird stuff, I might check it out,” Hawryla said regarding the new thrift shop.

The upcoming shop, which has yet to be named, will not be the first IES Department retail venture; IES teacher Corrie Roof has been helping students run the school store during Academic Lab. Items ranging from school supplies and headphones to sparkling water and student-made seasonal cards.

Like with the thrift shop, the school store aims to help students with more sever disabilities learn job skills. “The profit is good, but one of our main focuses is to help students learn how to do things like handle money and do retail,” Roof said. The store has made over $800 since its inception in the fall. Roof says the department plans to use the money to fund community outings for students to help learn how to buy ingredients at a grocery store and cook; Kroeger plans to do the same with funds from the thrift shop.

The thrift shop will set up near the Harrison doors in the north campus during the second semester. No further specific scheduling plans have been made yet.