From its soft opening in February, Serenity Showcase, an extension of the Sequim Serenity Thrift Shoppe, has drawn interest for higher-end furniture, art, carpeting and home decór, both from those who want to donate their treasured things to those who buy them.
Belle Muñoz, store manager, said the idea came because “we were inundated with higher-end merchandise and wanted to bring in additional revenue to support our mission of preventing and ending homelessness.”
Venerated manufacturers of donated furniture include Thomasville, Broyhill, Drexel, Ethan Allen and Wakefield. “These are more expensive pieces that have been donated,” Muñoz said, “and the customers are getting a good deal.”
For example, Muñoz showcased an impressive dining table with eight chairs — its purchase price was $7,000 — Serenity Showcase is selling it for $2,500 — plus it has a mammoth matching glass-fronted buffet. There also are large landscapes and portraits, antiques and accessories plus a grandmother’s clock and an Ashford spinning wheel.
“We get them from all over Sequim and they’re mostly from the elderly downsizing or families liquidating estates,” Muñoz noted. “I’m excited because of the revenue the Showcase can bring and for making a nice presentation of the items. It’s also the reward of the money that will go to help the homeless and to our mission of trying to prevent people from getting to that stage,” Muñoz said.
Hopes are eventually to be open six days a week and perhaps receive and sell original artwork, she said. Serenity Showcase is just a few steps west of the thrift store, near KSQM.
Muñoz, 54, has worked for Serenity House for 15 years and also has a background in high-end estate sales, so she knows the value of classic pieces.
“The response has been good and very well received,” Muñoz said, adding that the Showcase’s inventory has cycled through at least four times since February and it’s always changing. “Until we’re able to open a new store in Port Angeles, we will be having more furniture at the thrift shop and here.”
Donors, volunteers and shoppers are the lifeblood of the thrift store and Muñoz said they always can use more of all of them. Call 683-8269 to arrange for pickup of large items — pickup and delivery for bulky items is Wednesday-Friday by appointment. Boxes of small items may be donated at the rear of the thrift store at 551 W. Washington St. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
A word to the wise about donations — only donate what you would buy yourself.
“Items must be in good salable condition from a smoke-free home. I have to be pretty particular about what I take in and I’m not trying to be snobby,” Muñoz said, explaining that money spent on sending unusable items to the dump takes it out of the hands of the homeless. “We sell items that are not broken, stained, chipped or moth-eaten. Everything is to be washed and has to be ready to go and all donations are tax deductible.”
She will accept clothing from smokers as long as it’s been recently washed and stored away from a smoky environment, Muñoz said.
In Clallam County, Serenity House maintains shelter, housing resources, drop-in and housing programs. A brief synopsis of its services follows:
• Single Adult Shelter for men and women 18 and older, with room/board, meals and case management in Port Angeles;
• Family Shelter for short-term emergency shelter for families/minor children in Port Angeles and Sequim;
• Youth &Young Adult Services with drop-in service centers, food, housing, work-readiness for ages 17-24 at Dream Center in Port Angeles and Safe Harbor in Sequim;
• Housing programs and employment assistance, with temporary traditional housing for families with children/individuals with supportive services to transition from homelessness to permanent stable housing;
• Rental assistance with supportive services for families with children/individuals.
• Rental assistance for move-in or prevention of homeless, pays for rent or move-in deposits to help families/individuals solve housing emergencies.
• Economic Opportunities Initiative, for all ages, job-readiness and financial independence classes, workshops, hands-on work and community service placements to build employability and self-reliance.
• Permanent Supportive Housing, to help stabilize the lives of chronically homeless individuals and families countywide.
Call 452-7224 to get more information on Serenity House’s programs or call/visit its Housing Resource Centers in Port Angeles, 565-5041, 520 E. First St.; Sequim, 477-4918, 583 W. Washington St.; or Forks, 360-203-7107, 287 Founders Way. Shelter donations always needed are paper coffee cups, coffee, creamer, sugar and individually wrapped healthy snacks; drop-off at the Sequim store.
“I like what I’m doing because we make a difference and the money will stay in our community,” Muñoz said. “We’re able to do our mission because of our generous community and amazing volunteers who put in lots of hours.”