Located up a snowy incline in a mixed use neighborhood, my Prius said, " You don't expect me to make it up that hill do you?" Determined to get to my second thrift store interview but playing it safe, I parked at the bottom of the hill and trudged upwards. A very colorful sign with a handprint in the middle, country music melodies and a warm welcome were my first impressions of 2nd Hand Blessings.
Four years ago Crystal O'Brien opened the thrift shop as a service to the community and to provide work opportunities for disabled or underserved adults. 2nd Hand Blessings' mission is personal for Crystal. Forty-six years ago Celinda, the little sister she prayed for, was born but soon afterwards her family realized the baby would need a lifetime of special care. The Doctors' said her sister wouldn't be able to do much in life but Crystal never accepted that verdict. With persistence, patience and love Crystal has helped her sister live a meaningful life.
The day I visited I met 7 of the 15 workers she employs plus one volunteer. They all seemed to be part of a well oiled machine getting the work done while having fun! I wanted to include each of them in the Life Ring so I asked them what their favorite color was.... Crystal- olive green, Ebony-soft pink, Dee-neon green, Kathy- dark purple, Debbie- light purple, Penny- blue, Chris- hot pink, Thea- bright purple. With my color scheme now established, I spent the next hour looking throughout the store for the right colors and fabrics. I found everything I needed plus a few extras for myself all for the low, low price of $15! What a deal, what a team, what a mission!
PS-There was one staff member that wasn't at work that day. One that I wish I could've met....Celinda, the one that wasn't supposed to accomplish much in her life.