Royal Oak Tribune

Think outside the box

- By Gina Joseph gjoseph@medianewsg­roup.com @ginaljosep­h on Twitter

This year as you map out your holiday shopping trip ticket, why not consider browsing through a few thrift shops?

Habitat for Humanity Restores and the Salvation Army Thrift Shops will be offering deep discounts on many items that make great gifts and help to support great causes.

“I don’t think people realize what they can find here,” said Helen Hicks, during a recent tour of the Habitat Restore on Van Dyke, which has been reopened since May. Once the store was allowed to reopen, it also started taking donations again. Some items, however, such as toys are still not being accepted due to the pandemic. “When we reopened, we had all sorts of items coming in. The back room got so full the fire marshal gave us a (friendly) warning.”

Items in the shops, which vary every week, are donated by individual­s, companies and other charitable organizati­ons and can include:

• Christmas decoration­s

• Appliances

• Ceramic tiles

• Cedar chests

• Houseware items such as dishes and crock pots

• Antique furniture, like a secretary with glass doors

• Collectibl­es and unique pieces of China

• Paintings and prints in frames or worthy of framing

• Designer purses and shoes

• Jackets and jeans

• Bicycles, sleds and other sporting good items

What some already know but others fail to see is many of the items that are old can be new again. Here are just a few ideas to consider:

• Remember that desk you were looking for to complete your home office? These stores have them and in many cases all they need is a little tender care and polish. Others might be weathered but if they’re solid oak a good sanding or coat of paint will make them new again.

• Got a little girl asking Santa Claus for a pink bed? Habitat’s Restore has plenty of wooden headboards that can be painted. Paint it her favorite color and add new comforter set to make it even better.

• Know of a senior who grew up during the Holly Hobby era? Habitat’s Restore carries a large selection of hand painted plates featuring themes and characters of the past. Find one that suits your senior and have it mounted in a new shadow box to hang on the wall.

• Perhaps someone in the family is a photograph­er. Nobody shoots with film any more, but old cameras look very cool on a desk or collectibl­e shelf.

• What about someone who loves to paint? These are a great place to find big easels or exceptiona­lly large antique frames.

• How about refinishin­g an antique end table for a young profession­al who just moved into their first apartment or turning something like an old wooden ice box into a portable bar? Add new glasses or a set of bar tools to make it even more unique.

• Jean jackets never go out of style, and they’re suitable for all ages. Consider finding a jacket for your person and decorate it with fabric paint to create a Fortnite jacket for your grandson or a hippies revival jacket for your mom or sister.

Use your imaginatio­n and it’s likely that you’ll find more than a few items to build upon.

Damon Sanders, manager of the Restore on Van Dyke in Utica said the store is presently overwhelme­d with lighting fixtures of all kinds. Chandelier­s and hanging lamps, some even featuring stained glass designs that would all make great gifts for the right person.

“I think it’s a great place to shop and save money,” Sanders said. “You never know what you’ll come across. It’s a good place to come when you want to get a little retail therapy.”

What’s also nice about finding unique gifts at a thrift store is every purchase is also a way of giving back to charitable organizati­ons that need help.

Proceeds earned by the Restore go toward the constructi­on of new and remodeled homes for Habitat partners who might not otherwise afford a home of their own. Purchases and donations to the Family Thrift Stores benefit The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilita­tion Center’s independen­tly funded, 180-day residentia­l rehabilita­tion program for men and women, which has continued to be operationa­l during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilita­tion Center wants — to be customers’ biggest savings day of the year – especially this year,” said Envoy Jacqulynn Idzior, administra­tor of business for The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilita­tion Center. “This is the perfect chance to shop for clothes for the whole family, with every dollar spent helping individual­s rebuild their lives.”

For more informatio­n visit: Habitat Restores at macombhabi­tat. org/ restore and the Salvation Army thrift store, at semichigan.satruck.org/

 ?? PHOTOS BY GINA JOSEPH — MEDIANEWS GROUP ?? Helen Hicks, right, CEO and president of Macomb Habitat for Humanity, talks with Damon Sanders, Habitat’s Restore manager, about the stock of items in the store including the antique hall tree Hicks is sitting on.
PHOTOS BY GINA JOSEPH — MEDIANEWS GROUP Helen Hicks, right, CEO and president of Macomb Habitat for Humanity, talks with Damon Sanders, Habitat’s Restore manager, about the stock of items in the store including the antique hall tree Hicks is sitting on.
 ??  ?? Need a clock to paint for someone’s newly remodelled kitchen? How about an addition to your friend’s Toby mug collection? You never know what gifts you’ll find at a thrift store.
Need a clock to paint for someone’s newly remodelled kitchen? How about an addition to your friend’s Toby mug collection? You never know what gifts you’ll find at a thrift store.

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