** This is a sponsored post on behalf of Deseret Industries. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **
If you have read my craft tutorials you will notice that I mention often that I buy my crafting supplies from thrift stores and I do makeovers to the items. Deseret Industries is the thrift store that I shop at most often because of the price and selection of items.
When I was invited with a group of local bloggers to tour the new store that opens this Thursday October 27th, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the items that would be for sale. When I left the store I was excited about the great treasures I saw, but the lasting impression I took away from the afternoon was the stories about employees who had their lives changed through working for the company.
We heard from the Region Manager, Blaine, and the store manager, Robert about their history with the company, how exciting this 43rd store was, a bit about the people that work for Deseret Industries, and the purpose of Deseret Industries.
The purpose of Deseret Industries is to provide an opportunity for people to donate items they don't need anymore, provide affordable items to shoppers, and provide work training to individuals so that they can become self reliant. The employees gain confidence, work experience, and education so they can take care of themselves and their families.
When they start working at Deseret Industries, many of the employees have challenges that keep them from entering the workforce elsewhere - language challenges, being out of the workforce for years and need to start somewhere, have a disability, dealing with substance abuse, or have been out of work and need training to get a better job in the future.
The new store will employ 100-120 associates. These associates come from all walks of life and learn to work together as a team. When they are hired, they meet with a development counselor to assess their current needs and make a plan to help the associates become self reliant. Deseret Industries will employ people in need and offer them a place to gain work experience while helping them in their personal life - helping them get certified in different fields, English language classes, and substance abuse programs.
We were able to take a tour of the back of the store. Behind the scenes looks at what goes on it always interesting! They had racks and racks of clothes ready to take to the floor of the store as needed. They told us that there are about 2,500 pieces of clothing out every day. They have 3,500 small as is items also (dishes, craft supplies, games, knick knacks) out each day. The associates bring new items out each day as it needs restocking.
We asked what happens to clothes that don't get sold during their 4 week rotation on the store floor. They told us that the clothes are put into these large pods, then they are sent to the humanitarian center in Salt Lake City. The clothes are then sorted and sent to other countries where they are provided free of charge to those in need.
Deseret Industries also partners with local companies as well. They provide free books for children that don't have any, business clothes for people searching for jobs, clothing for families that need a little extra help, and paid internships at other businesses so people can gain needed job experience.
The people that are employed at Deseret Industries learn how to work with the public while they are overcoming personal trials, gaining confidence in themselves and their abilities, and gaining the experience needed to eventually come to the point where they can take care of themselves and their families. Each time they interact with customers, whether it is answering a question about the location or price of an item or ringing up your purchase for the day, they progress along the path toward their goals and future. You can see videos on how employees lives have changed by clicking here.
Deseret Industries has locations in Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. You can check to see if a store is near you by clicking here.
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