After announcing in 2016 the purchase of the former Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians building in Red Bank, Chambliss Center for Children has completed the first part of the project for that space: a new thrift store.
The thrift store will open at 1936 Dayton Blvd. July 1, and the rest of the space in the building will soon house an early learning center, set to open in August.
"We are very excited to complete this project, which was one of the initiatives in our recent capital campaign," Vice President of Special Projects Gloria Miller said in a prepared statement. "We’re providing a convenient location to shop and donate and, as a result, expanding our agency’s sustainability."
The space is 9,000 square feet, and 5,000 of that will be the early learning center.
Last year, the center raised about $5.5 million for the new store and learning center, according to Nooga.com archives.
The thrift store is the center's second location.
Director of Communication Lesley R. Berryhill said that funds from the thrift stores help with operational and programming expenses.
The Brainerd store is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year, and the center's leaders have come to rely on it for funds. It contributes more than $150,000 a year to the center's budget.
The center's early childhood education and extended child care programs have a sliding fee scale, so parents pay based on their income.
"The money we receive from fees only covers about 25 percent of the actual cost of the care we are providing, so we have to raise around $600,000 a year to continue offering this essential service to families in our community," she also said. "Proceeds from our current thrift store in Brainerd, and now our new one in Red Bank, are a significant help."
The addition of the second store will allow leaders with the center to contribute more to the annual budget and expand the agency’s sustainability.
"We also want to stress that people donating to our thrift stores is just as important as them shopping with us," she also said. "Our sales are only as good as our donations."
Both stores stock a wide variety of merchandise, including furniture, appliances, home décor, clothing, accessories and more.
The net proceeds from purchases help Chambliss Center for Children further its mission of preserving family unity and helping prevent the dependency, neglect, abuse and delinquency of children by responding to the community’s child care needs.
Leaders meet those needs by providing affordable care for more 650 children every day through an early childhood education and extended child care program, as well as a residential program, which recruits and trains foster families and operates a group home for children in state custody. In addition to these two programs, the agency also manages five off-site child care centers and educates and cares for the young children of teachers in 11 Hamilton County schools.
The center is a nonprofit that was founded in 1872.
Store hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays.
The agency is currently accepting donations for the new Red Bank location.
Items can be dropped off in the parking lot of Pruett’s Market on Signal Mountain June 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the parking lot of Il Primo in Riverview June 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at the new location beginning June 19.
Updated @ 3:34 p.m. on 6/16/17 to add more information.