Adrieanne Ralph spoke through tears, “Getting a job at the Family & Children’s Services Thrift Store was a pivotal moment for me. It allows me to help someone in need every day through finding a treasured coat or giving someone a kind word.”
Ralph isn’t a stranger to finding small treasures in life. She has lost and regained her life possessions over and over again while serving three prison sentences on drug-related charges. It wasn’t until her last arrest that she was accepted into the Family & Children’s Services (F&CS) Women in Recovery (WIR) program. She graduated in 2016 and said that WIR gave her her life back.
“Women in Recovery changed my life,” she said. “I had been in recovery for 10 years when a work-related injury and a prescription for painkillers brought my addiction back full swing. WIR helped me discover that I had other problems besides being an addict. These problems were the root cause of falling in and out of recovery for so many years. WIR taught me about real recovery and how to live a productive and fulfilling life.”
Last summer, Ralph’s graduation from WIR coincided with the launch of the F&CS Thrift Store. Because of the F&CS Thrift Store’s three-part mission – supporting F&CS programs, providing work and volunteer opportunities for F&CS and WIR clients and giving goods to F&CS clients in need – she applied for a job. Today she is the store’s supervisor.
According to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops (NARTS), the thrifting industry is growing 7 percent per year. The resale market is blossoming thanks to value-conscious consumers. With an increasing awareness of the importance of reducing pointless waste, we are progressing from a disposable society to a recycling society. No one is immune to the excitement of finding a treasure and saving money. That is how Bobby Polanco felt.
After managing large box stores in Texas, Colorado Missouri, New York and Oklahoma, Polanco made the switch to resale and was hired as the F&CS Thrift Store general manager. “My favorite part of retail is training and coaching others to find success. I get to do that and so much more. The involvement of both donors and volunteers, who care about giving back, is uplifting. Then seeing the excitement on shopper’s faces when they come into a clean store, find great treasures at fair prices and receive unmatched service from employees who really care … that is really uplifting,” he said.
The F&CS Thrift Store truly is goods for good, giving second chances to people, goods and our environment.
Shoppers can expect a variety of special discount days as outlined monthly in a calendar found in the store and online at www.fcsthriftstore.com.
Tulsa County donors interested in donating goods can drop them off during normal business hours or call for a free pickup.
Family & Children’s Services Thrift Store
724 S. Utica
Tulsa, OK 74104
Closed on Sunday.