Helping Hands re-sale shop is moving on up, to Fourth Street, that is.



Come Sunday afternoon, volunteers will help move the re-sale shop’s two locations full of merchandise to the former Chillicothe Mortuary.


Helping Hands re-sale shop is moving on up, to Fourth Street, that is.

Come Sunday afternoon, volunteers will help move the re-sale shop’s two locations full of merchandise to the former Chillicothe Mortuary.

Now owned by the bank, Helping Hands will rent the building at 1259 N. Fourth St.

Getting its start of sorts when CrossWord Café needed a fundraiser in May, the shop has been on the move ever since.

Opening on a trial basis in late May where the Red Bonnet Boutique was, next to Covered Wagon in downtown Chillicothe, the shop offered a place for Chillicotheans to get rid of their unwanted clothes, furniture, electronics and household items.

The money raised from them goes to non-profit groups in town.

In October, the shop expanded to add another location a few doors down at the former River Valley Residence, 1008 N. Second St.

“We’ve been able to see the potential for more and to see what’s possible at these locations,” said Brent Ressler, executive director of Small World Connections, a missions ministry.
Small World, plus CrossWord Café, each receive a third of the profits each month.

The remaining one third goes to whichever group or groups help with the resale shop.

In 2010, non-profit groups received more than $15,000 in the venture, and in 2011 alone, $4,102  already have been distributed.

The new location is one of many the shop’s organizers looked at when formulating the shop in December 2009.

At the time, the organizers eyed the building, but did not know if it would work.

“This would be great but how can we do that when we haven’t done anything at all?” Ressler said they asked about the logistics.

Now that they know how the business works and have done well in the downtown, Ressler said, the time was right.
He sees growth potential in every aspect of the business.

“I think we’ll find more volunteers. I think it will be the tip of the iceberg.”

Ressler said he also expects greater visibility, possibly from those simply traveling through town.

A sign should be up in the near future, and their banner will be on the building as well.

Logistically, with the awning and the back doors, Ressler said he thinks it is the perfect building for the business now.
The building offers them more room for storage of out-of-season donations, and the kitchen area could be used as a break room. A couple side rooms could be offices and the back room could be used for sorting donations.

The main sanctuary of the former funeral home will be the main sales floor.

While Ressler and organizers patterned the resale shop from one in Indiana near his parents’ home, he found some unexpected blessings along the way.

“I didn’t anticipate providing for people’s needs,” Ressler said.

Part-time manager Sherry Adams said some items do not even make it off the truck.

Residents have bought refrigerators, stoves, queen-size bed, bunk beds, a piano and more.

She even keeps a list of items residents are looking for and calls them if the store gets the requested item.

For the most part, Helping Hands accepts most anything in good shape and clothes without stains, rips or holes. Lots of clothes still have the tags on them, Adams said.

“You never know what we’re going to get in. It’s just like Christmas every day,” Adams said.

Those in serious need, after a calamity such as a fire, the shop offers them clothes or furniture for free.

While residents are donating their goods, several groups assisted Helping Hands as well.
Geiger True Value Hardware Store donated its old shelves when it recently received new ones.

The Chillicothe Historical Society also volunteered some clothing racks as well.

The move also allows the shop to expand its furniture area of couches, chairs, TVs, entertainment centers, air hockey tables and more.

Sometimes they were overwhelmed by furniture, Ressler said, but last week, had run low.

“We want to take it,” he said of the bigger items. “It’s a big money maker.”

And Adams is the first to tell residents the items turn over fast.

“If you see it and you want it, you better get it while it’s here or it’s gone,” said Adams.

Helping Hands is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Adams said she expects to expand their hours once moved.

This weekend Helping Hands is offering big sales on books and clothes in preparation for the move.

“I’m excited to see what it will be,” said Ressler, and added, “I anticipate more surprises.”