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Nonprofit shaking off winter chill

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A local nonprofit thrift shop focused on helping disadvantaged community members achieve self-sufficiency has bounced back from the impact of a harsh winter.

Sans Souci, a low-cost or no-cost retail service provider, operates the Community Store at 1526 13th St.

The store, which averages about $35,000 in monthly sales, brought in $46,000 in March.

Sheryl Adams, Sans Souci executive director, said part of the increase came from sales lost during the rough winter months, when the store was closed for several days.

“January and February, we did not meet budget at all,” Adams said. “We were lucky if we did $20,000 because we lost so many days to weather.”

Assistant Director Erika Hefler said Sans Souci also received a lot of furniture donations in March.

“The larger items bring in more money for the store and the organization,” Hefler said. “Having those big donations from people really helped us to do the stellar sales last month.”

The fastest-growing sales division for Sans Souci is its online auction, through which customers can bid on items for a predetermined amount of time.

Items listed for the auction that closes Monday include a brown leather chair and footstool and an Indianapolis Colts tote bag, autographed by Peyton Manning and 12 other current or former team members.

Hefler said the organization’s boutique clothing division, which offers high-end, name-brand used clothing at greatly reduced prices, has also been doing well.

Sans Souci, which is a French phrase that means without worry, is open to the public.

Barbara Hill of Columbus, who shops at Sans Souci several times a week, works in a nursing home and buys sweaters and other items for the people who live there.

“You find a lot of stuff here, and I buy mostly for everybody else,” Hill said. “I have

11 brothers and sisters, so even when I get something for myself, somebody else sees it and wants it.”

The Community Store is designed to help disadvantaged members of the community achieve greater self-sufficiency through a free assistance program, job training and development, and low-cost necessities.

“We gave away $75,000 in free assistance last year,” Hefler said. “We are always taking donations, and we are a local thrift store, so everything that we get stays in the community.”

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