Imperial Valley Press
Woman Haven Thrift Store reopens
EL CENTRO — Woman Haven Thrift Store reopened its doors to the community in its new location on 742 Main Street on Thursday, February 2.
Woman Haven Executive Director Gina Vargas sees this reopening as a blessing for the nonprofit to have this resource operational again in the region.
“This thrift store offers clothing for our victims of domestic violence who are in our shelter, receiving our services, to be able to have something nice, clean, and warm to wear while residing with us,” Vargas said.
Vargas said WomanHaven, Inc. has been looking for a new thrift store for nearly eight years, as they have outgrown their previous location at 601 Broadway Street in El Centro.
“We needed to expand, grow, and be able to bring something different to the community,” Vargas said. “In August (of 2022) we finally said, ‘ This is home.’ We were able to get this location that has brought us over 4,000 additional square feet, and hire three addi-tional staff members.”
Vargas said this also was a place for customers in general who enjoy searching for hidden-treasure items, low prices, and supporting a good cause.
“The donations we receive here and the proceeds help WomanHaven to continue to provide services to our victims of domestic violence and other individuals that we serve in the community to help them with expenses that maybe they’re struggling with at the time,” Vargas said.
According to WomanHaven’s website, its mission is to promote and provide a comprehensive response to domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking through community outreach and education, prevention, intervention, client support services, safety, and shelter services.
Vargas acknowledged the volunteers who help sustain the non-profit’s programs and Thrift Store, as it takes 12 to 15 people a day to operate their new location.
“This location also gives WomanHaven the opportunity to help revamp and revitalize the downtown area,” Vargas said.
El Centro resident Cecilia Navarro said she saw the difference this new location brings to customers in terms of space and quality of items.
“I regularly visited the previous store, and here everything is beautiful and organized,” Navarro said.
Navarro shops at the WomanHaven Thrift Store searching for low prices. As inflation and raises in residential services, Navarro sees the store as an affordable option to buy clothing and items for her household.
“I invite the community to come and shop here,” she said. “You are going to save a lot of money as stores elsewhere may be expensive.”
Among the many items, this new location includes clothing and household items.
Starting February 1, WomanHaven will be accepting donations at their new location from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The store also has a parking spot where community members can call to drop off donations.
“We invite the community to come in and check it out,” Vargas said.
“This thrift store has a lot of hidden treasures for the community to be able to come and give items a second life,” she said.