Charlotte – It Takes a Village

The proverb “it takes a village” is normally referring to the raising of a child within a community. But when Grace Bednarcik, chairperson of a large-scale relocation project, says “it takes a village” she is acknowledging other peoples’ roles in the success of a chapter project in Charlotte, N.C.

The chapter is thrilled to announce the opening of a new thrift shop and center after months of intense planning to sell property, to buy a building, to store inventory, and to design the new space. The 25,000 square foot building required renovations to customize it to our needs. After being without thrift shop revenue for more than four months, we were ready to reopen for business in October,2022.  Many excited customers were lined up well before the doors opened. Our loyal customer base generated more than $14,000 in sales to kick off our opening day.

This is the fourth location of our Assistance League Thrift Shop, the first opening in 2001. The decision to sell the building at our South Tryon St. location was made to take advantage of a vibrant real estate market in Charlotte. The sale was completed in July 2022. According to Grace, the chair of the new property task force, the new location is on a main artery and two miles from the old site. She said the purchased building stood out as far as our needs.

“The allotted space for the thrift shop and warehouse is similar but the space for our philanthropic programs grew and we gained dedicated chapter areas. “The move out and move in processes required numerous volunteered hours from members, spouses and community volunteers who donated their expertise and muscle. Grace praised the focus and determination of the many involved in the undertaking of the new property.

Chapter President Ann Davis reflects on the complex planning to make the move successful.

“We all learned how local government works, at what pace, and how city and county ordinances can affect a community regarding environmental issues.  We learned a new vocabulary in the fields of architectural design, electrical issues and building codes to name a few.”

After nearly a year and a half of teamwork and effort by many, Ann says the result is a beautiful, functional chapter area and thrift shop. “We have much more public visibility, the merchandise is flying off the shelves and sales are phenomenal!”