CANTON, Connecticut — A local thrift shop that serves those with intellectual and developmental disabilities is finding a new way to honor those impacted by these types of disabilities.
Seven local men and women with different types of disabilities were selected by the Favarh Thrift Shop to be subjects for new posters decorating the Canton shop walls.
Thrift Shop Manager Jean Miller explains, “We are replacing our current photos of Favarh clients which have been on the walls for over 10 years with new ones.”
Simsbury resident, Chris Corbosiero’s smiling image is featured on one of the seven posters. His mom, Anne, is an assistant store manager and she says she is happy with the change.
“Shoppers at the store aren't always aware of Favarh’s mission and purpose in the Farmington Valley community,” explains Corbosiero. “So the photos are good reminders and conversation starters. We do our best to tell new customers and donors how we use the proceeds from the store.”
100 percent of the proceeds from the thrift shop, located at 250 Albany Avenue in Canton, support Favarh's mission to help individuals with IDD achieve his or her personal best.
The thrift shop sells donated goods including gently worn clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, small furniture, housewares, decorative items, antiques, collectibles, music, movies, and books accepted as donations from the community. They do not accept computers, TVs and children's equipment.
The thrift shop is one of Favarh’s largest sources of revenue.
“After covering rent and other expenses, we are able to employ a six-person crew of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to sort out and process the donations," said Miller. "The remainder of the proceeds are used to cover everyday programs and services Favarh provides to 350 local individuals in our care.”
Favarh services for teens and adults include day, residential, employment, recreation, and transitional programs, and staffing costs for the shop are kept low by an impressive staff of volunteers.
“We have over 100 volunteers and schedule 50 volunteers per week," said Miller.
The thrift shop’s journey started in 1964 by a group of women who wanted to raise funds to support Favarh’s programs and services. The shop recently re-opened on May 27th after the Coronavirus mandatory shut down, the first closing in its 56-year history.
“We’re following state-mandated regulations like adding a Plexiglas cashier shield, hand sanitizing stations, social distancing indicators, and staff and volunteer screening," said Miller. "In order to reopen our dressing rooms, we had to purchase a steam sanitizer to sanitize any clothing that is tried on."
In order to protect their own volunteer staff, Favarh is asking volunteers 65 years or older to wait for the next reopen phase. They’re hoping to get back to pre-virus operations, utilizing all their volunteers and opening their regular hours. Currently, the shop is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM.
Items can be donated to the thrift store by bringing them to a donation bin at 225 Commerce Drive in Canton, Favarh’s headquarters. “We usually have a steady stream of donations throughout the day,” said Miller.
Donors or anyone wishing to volunteer may call Jean Miller at 860-693-6662 ext. 128.
This article was written by, Scott Masson, who is supported by Favarh – The Arc of the Farmington Valley, a Canton-based nonprofit agency that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their personal best. For more information visit favarh.org.