Bargain Center seeks volunteers
By MICHELLE DELANEY, Globe staff reporter
The Bargain Center has been serving the Sioux City community since 1952. Countless people have benefited from the secondhand books, clothes, linens, appliances and numerous other items sold at the Bargain Center over the years.
In order to help the people that it does, it takes several volunteers to keep the store running smoothly. Although the amount of donated items to sell isn’t running short, the number of volunteers is.
Paula LaBrune, president, explained that as of right now they have between 65 and 75 volunteers. With the store being open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at least 25 more volunteers are needed.
“We would appreciate anyone who can come in and give any amount of hours, whether it be three hours a month or three hours a day,” said LaBrune. “We are so appreciative of all the volunteers who come in.”
With the store running on donations from people, there are many items to sort through and organize. The Bargain Center prides itself on putting out quality goods. The clothes found there will not be soiled or torn and all of the appliances are tested to make sure they run.
“We work very hard to keep the quality of our merchandise nice,” said Lexie Kuhl, treasurer. “We’re not like most thrift stores; we don’t have barrels of unorganized stuff. We try to keep it looking like a store.”
Volunteers spend time bringing in items from the drop box, folding, sorting and hanging up clothes, putting out new items, dusting and picking up the store, running the cash register and helping customers.
A board member trains new volunteers.
“Working here is a great community service,” said LaBrune. “I do it because I love it. I like all of the activity. I feel rewarded at the end of each day at the Bargain Center because I know we help people. We try to do better and to help people out whenever we can.”
LeBrune also went on to say that the volunteers at the Bargain Center have a great sense of community between them.
“We’re like a little family down here, we care for one another. It’s a nice organization to work with, we’re friendly people and we do good for the community,” said LaBrune.
Every day there is at least two board members working and they strive to have at least three or four volunteers there to keep the store running.
While there is no requirement on hours needed to volunteer and volunteers are welcome to stop in and help whenever they have time, they would appreciate people who can be consistent. Kuhl explained that they make schedules to ensure adequate coverage throughout the day.
“We don’t care if they only work half a day a month, but if they say they’ll work that half day, we need them to be there. We have a lot of women who pop in one or two days a week whenever they have time. We do welcome that too,” said Kuhl.
Not only does the Bargain Center sell secondhand merchandise at a low price they also will give away items to people have received vouchers from any of the churches or social organizations in Sioux City.
The profits from the Bargain Center are usually turned right around and donated to local organizations. Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools, Briar Cliff College, Catholic Charities, Trinity Heights, Siouxland Food Bank, Gospel Mission, Birthright and several other worthy charities all benefit from the Bargain Center’s generosity.
People interested in volunteering can call the Bargain Center at (712) 255-0575 and ask for LaBrune or any of the board members or stop in. They are located at 1001 West 7th street.
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