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Thrift store offers
more than a great bargain


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  Looking for a great piano at thrift store prices, or perhaps a set of rollerblades to begin that exercise program you’ve been putting off, or maybe you’re in the market for an affordable hospital bed for a sick loved one, then your one-stop shop might be Upscale Resale.

L to r: Retail business manager, Burch Wright, volunteer Shirley Fifield, volunteer Mary Fugatt, store manager Cathy Carlton and donation manager Jenny Rowe at the Upscale Resale Shoppe in McDonough.                                   Photo by Melissa Robinson

  Upscale Resale Shoppe, located next to Kroger on Jonesboro Road in McDonough, is more than the average thrift store—carrying not only gently used clothes, collectibles and accessories, but also medical equipment, such as electric beds, wheelchairs and walkers. What’s even more unique is the fact that Upscale Resale exists to support a metro-Atlanta ministry that provides hospice care and children’s respite care for those who have no insurance or can’t afford it, at no cost to those in need.

  Originally opened in Hampton, the second-hand shop was confined by Highway 19/41, which limited traffic and exposure.

  “We’ve been in this location since December 2011 and we were in Hampton for two years, but we were landlocked. Being next to Kroger, it’s been amazing. We see new people everyday and now we have a frequent buyer card, so for every 50 dollars you spend, you get $5 off your next purchase,” said store manager, Cathy Carlton.

  Upscale Resale is one of two retail stores whose proceeds go to support the Southwest Christian Care Ministry, located in Union City. Southwest Christian Care is a non-profit organization that offers hospice care, both in-patient and at-home, for terminally ill patients who don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay for hospice care. The organization also offers other unique services, such as children’s respite care and senior care. It has been in existence since 1983 and this year, celebrates its 30th anniversary.

  The children’s respite care offers parents of special needs children a much-needed break and children have an opportunity for a fun day with qualified professionals.

  Carlton said that the Upscale Resale Shoppe has enjoyed success because of generous donations, word of mouth and great volunteers.

  “We go to churches and will talk to women’s groups and missions groups,” said Carlton. “People who donate like to see how their donation is helping others, and with our hospice in Union City, they can see it firsthand. Anybody is welcome to go to Union City and tour the hospice and see the wonderful services that are provided.”

Shown l to r: Store manager Cathy Carlton and volunteer Shirley Fifield inspect merchandise for sale at Upscale Resale.                                          Photo by Melissa Robinson

  With just three paid employees, the store relies heavily on the dedication of its volunteers. Jenny Rowe is the donation manager and volunteer coordinator and said the store has approximately 25 regular, dependable volunteers.

  “Our volunteers are awesome, and not only do they do a great job here, they go back to the churches and Sunday school classes and talk about the ministry and get us support that way, as well,” said Rowe.

  The thrift store offers a variety of items such as clothing and accessories, furniture, linens, household items, toys, books electronics and collectibles and Carlton said that she is grateful for the community’s support.

  “It has been really good here. nearby stores and even though Goodwill is across the street, it’s not competition. If we don’t have something a customer is looking for, we send them across the street and Goodwill does the same,” said Carlton. “We found that people like to do thrift stores in groups and it works out well for us.”

  Carlton said that in addition to regular thrift store fare, the store also sells medical equipment, such as walkers, hospital beds and scooters.

  “Hospital beds are popular items because they are very expensive and I think the highest price we sold one for was for $500. Also, walkers with the seat attached go fast when we get them in,” said Carlton.

  Upscale Resale is always willing to take donations that are in good condition and for large items, such as furniture, they are more than happy to schedule a pick-up service.

  “We take almost anything that is in good condition. Our motto is if we can ‘take it from door to floor’ we are happy to have it,” she said.

  The store also offers a senior discount of 20 percent on Wednesdays on everything except furniture, and in effective marketing, the senior discount day coincides with Kroger’s senior discount day, also on Wednesdays. Carlton said that they keep prices low anyway, but also have a fifty percent markdown on colored tags every Friday and Saturday.

  For more information, or to inquire about volunteering or making a financial contribution or donation, call store manager Cathy Carlton at 678-432-0012. All donations are tax deductible.

  For more information on hospice and respite care services at Southwest Christian Care, contact Myrna Bond at 770-969-8354.



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