Sitting at the corner of Sodders Street and Main, the Lodi Resale Store is often overlooked at daily commuters and tourists drive by. The work that Jennie Larson and her 12 volunteer staff are doing, however, is worth a visit.
Starting With The Children
Founded in 2009, the Lodi Resale Store is a 501c3 business with a specific mission: Helping those in our community who need it most. After basic operating expenses such as rent, heat, and electricity, the majority of their revenue goes to helping students.
We purchase eye glasses for kids, repair kids bad teeth, buy hearing aids, wheelchairs, and provide clothing and family necessities. If you can’t see the chalkboard, hear the teacher, or have a toothache, how can you learn in school? Too many children and families are falling between the cracks of no insurance coverage.
The Resale Store’s level of commitment goes beyond providing those necessities. When disaster strikes a family–flooding, fire, physical or financial emergency–they ” throw the doors open and give it away for free”.
Providing medical devices to those children that need them wasn’t enough. The Resale Store was the early founder and participant in the Lodi High School Special Needs Program. They brought in special needs students and taught them life skills. Simple tasks such as organizing clothing racks, separating quality donations from less useful ones, and operating the cash register build confidence, teach critical thinking, and impart viable job skills. This program has since expanded significantly. You can see these students working at several stores in the area.
Evolution of Outreach
The core mission of the Resale Store, however, has evolved. They’ve expanded from providing necessary medical care for children to also providing necessary support services to the elderly and infirm.
Volunteers provide transportation to and from doctors’ and dentists’ visits, church services, and other appointments. They pick up and deliver medicines from area pharmacies, and assist with daily tasks like grocery shopping.
All as volunteers.
Earning Their Keep
All of this depends on two things: Donations of the things you no longer want, and the purchase of things you do. They accept (good-condition) clothing, jewelry, artwork, decorations and knick-knacks, bicycles, dishes, and small appliances. Clothing and kitchenwares are the most in demand.
The Resale Store is open Monday – Friday from 10:00am to 5:00p, and 9:00am – 2:00pm of Saturdays. To learn more, or get in contact, check out their Facebook page.
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.