Presbyterian Resale Shop turns 70
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent October 23, 2012 2:56PM
Helen Barron hangs clothing on a holding rack as volunteers sort donations at the Presbyterian Resale Shop in Valparaiso, Ind., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Barron, of Valparaiso, has volunteered at the shop for nearly 25 years. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
If you go
The Presbyterian Resale Shop, 7 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call 462-4281 to check on Saturday hours.
Updated: November 25, 2012 11:26AM
For 70 years, the Presbyterian Resale Shop in Valparaiso has stayed true to its mission of helping others.
The location has changed over the years, as have the fashions on the racks, but the shop continues to be staffed by a group of dedicated volunteers, and to donate all of its proceeds to local charities and mission work supported by the First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso.
The shop, at 7 E. Lincolnway, celebrates its 70th anniversary this month. The front windows take passersby back to 1942, with displays of World War II memorabilia and clothes and housewares of the time.
On a recent Monday, a day the shop is closed, a group of half a dozen volunteers sorted through and priced donated goods, including shoes and clothing. The shop also accepts toys, linens, books and small household items for resale; items the shop can’t sell are donated to the Salvation Army.
Many of the volunteers have been helping out at the store for years, including Darlene Beatty, who’s been there for 20-some years.
“My job is toys, and it’s great fun,” the Porter Township resident said. “It’s been very rewarding. I’ve met a lot of nice people and I’m doing God’s work and helping the community.”
Each volunteer is responsible for a different aspect of the shop. Dorothea Staats of Valparaiso is the self-proclaimed “shoe lady,” and said a donor once gave 350 pairs of women’s shoes to the store. Staats has put the shoes out over the past several months, depending on the season and style.
She started volunteering at the resale shop in the 1960s.
“This is the fourth location I’ve worked in,” she said, pricing a pair of white slippers. “It’s a good location and we’ve been happy with it.”
The shop moved to its current location in 2001. Over the summer, the building’s landlord received a façade grant from the city, providing new windows out front.
The resale shop first opened on Franklin Street, then moved to another location nearby. The shop also has been located on Washington Street and further west on Lincolnway.
The shop’s volunteers said the men of the church — many of them husbands of women who give their time to the shop — have helped out over the years as well, laying carpet flooring and building dressing rooms.
Spending time at the shop also allows for a bit of shopping.
“We are our own best customers,” said volunteer Betty Richardson of Valparaiso.