When the idea of doing our summer art labs came up so did partnering with Twin Cities organizations that help people in need. I planned this art lab in the middle of winter and while it was hard to imagine people leisurely creating art outdoors in the FlatPak house, it was also hard to imagine people getting by without a winter coat in the permafrost we experience here in Minnesota.
During our first art lab of the summer, teens from Kulture Klub were on hand to receive clothing donations. The response was great. People brought in bags of clothing. Thanks!
This Thursday, I hope you feel warm and cuddly when I tell you that folks from Arc Greater Twin Cities will be here to take your gently used clothing and put it to good use. I contacted Laurel Hansen, their business director, to find out more about them. So, if you have some bags of clothing sitting on your front porch that you’ve been meaning to get rid of bring it on down to the Walker and give it to Arc Greater Twin Cities! Oh, and participate in our art lab as well with the dynamic duo that is Calpurnia Peach!
Describe what Arc Greater Twin Cities does and how it got started as an organization?
Arc is a nonprofit organization providing advocacy and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Arc Greater Twin Cities was started originally in 1946, led by parents who wanted a better life and more opportunities for their children with disabilities.
Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers (www.arcsvaluevillage.org) are owned and operated by Arc. Arc’s thrift business provides 40% of Arc’s annual support. Arc’s Value Village has stores in Richfield, New Hope, and Brooklyn Center, and will soon open a St. Paul store.
How is your organization different from other community organizations?
Arc’s mission is to secure for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families the opportunity to realize their goals of where and how they live, learn, work, and play. Arc serves people and families throughout the many stages of life. 70% of the people who work at Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores are volunteers. Proceeds from the stores benefit Arc’s services. More than 3 million items are recycled and reused annually at Arc’s Value Village.
Have you seen an increase in demand for gently used clothes during this last year? If so why?
Thrift shopping is very “on trend” right now, and Arc’s Value Village provides a great way to shop smart, shop green, and shop local. It’s “Shopping with a Purpose” at Arc’s Value Village. While demand for used clothing is up, more donations to Arc are needed to support this demand. Donations to Arc are tax deductible and accepted daily; Arc provides a tax receipt. Arc also accepts accessories, household items, books, children’s items, select furniture, automobiles, and more.
I know that some kids, especially teenagers, might feel somewhat self-conscious wearing used clothing around their peers at school. How can people’s attitudes and perceptions of used clothing as being only for people in need change?
The movement to reuse and recycle is gaining momentum, and more people than ever are shopping at thrift stores. This is especially true of young people, who are leading the trend. Vintage items from the 1980’s and other eras are desirable to many shoppers, who crave a unique, one of a kind style that can be achieved by shopping at Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores.
When customers shop at Arc’s Value Village, they appreciate that the store is clean,organized, and fun & easy to shop. Merchandise is high quality, diverse, and plentiful. Donations are accepted daily, so customers often shop and donate each time they visit. At Arc’s Value Village we love our customers and always say, “Keep on Thrifting!”