Tucked away at 700 E. Cherokee Street in Jacksonville, A Second Glance Resale Store is more than a thrift store – it offers victims in crisis situations a way to start over.
“We have a lot of people who come in here, who see it as a thrift shop, (but) when they know that it helps the Crisis Center, they’re surprised,” said assistant store manager Mara Acosta. “But they also feel better about what they’re buying, and they feel a little more incline to spend a little more.”
The Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties is a single organization with services in Jacksonville and Palestine, including safe houses and counseling programs that are funded in part by resale stores in both towns.
Second Glance manager Kayla Lawson says the role the stores play in the larger scheme of things is something she's proud of.
“There are no organizations like the Crisis Center here – there are no shelters or anything people (in a situation involving abuse) can go into other than the Crisis Center,” she said, describing how every transaction at the resale shop helps raise awareness for the center's mission.
The Jacksonville store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
According to the center's executive director Donald Hammock, the local store has been in existence at least 15 years; prior to that, a store operated briefly in Bullard.
“Our resale stores are a very big part of our revenue source to help the victims, because all sales go into direct services for our victims, enabling us to help them overcome situations and traumatic events they've encountered,” he explained. “Without these stores, it would cut out about a third of our services.
A Second Glance offers a variety of items, except for used mattresses, which Lawson said by law are not allowed to be resold.
“We take all donations – people think it’s only clothes, but we take furniture, clothes, knicknacks … we do anything and everything except for mattresses,” she said.
The Jacksonville store has a total of five employees who do everything from donation intake to stocking shelves to manning the cash register.
“Everybody does everything – we train them in every section” of the store, Lawson said.
As a result, their knowledge of the store enhances the quality of customer service.
Acosta said another draw is the affordable cost of items, with prices kept low “because we know what we would pay for something that's second-hand.”
While the shop is, as Lawson describes, “still an undiscovered gem,” the staff has hit on a sure-fire way to attract clients: On the first Friday of the month, all items are half-price.
“I have to pull in extra staff that day, it’s happens to go that well, she said. “We have little sales here and there, but our big, main sale is the first Friday sale. And normally, if I have the extra donations, we do a second sale in the middle of the month on a friday. We put it out on our signs, and when people come in we have the little slips that tell everybody when our sales are. When they donate, we tell them about our sales.”
Pausing, she added that because the Crisis Center is a non-profit entity, the one thing she hopes people realize is how their support directly impacts victims of abuse – not only through services, but in helping families in crisis situations who are receiving these services get back on their feet by providing whatever items needed from the store to establish a new home.
“Without the donations, we have no store. Without clientele, we can't help the community,” she said. “It all goes hand in hand.”
Hammock agreed, pointing out that the money raised through the resale stores are used locally.
“All of it goes back to our clients, one way or another – without the Crisis Center, many victims wouldn't have the appropriate resources available to help them move from victim to survivor,” he said.