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White Plains Slater Center Debuts Thrift Shop

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Charlene Allien said she was grateful to begin sorting donations and crafting displays for the new Thomas H. Slater Center thrift store in late July.

“I have two kids so, you know, I’m saving my money,” said Allien, 19, a marketer and cashier for the thrift shop. “I like meeting new people and the new experience. We get to learn business skills.”

Allien and two other young adults saw their work transform the Slater center daycare room into a well-stocked thrift store lined with tables of kitchenware, racks of party dresses and several discount displays when the shop opened in early August.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the business week until Aug. 19. The Slater Center will also host two weekend tag sales on Aug. 14 and Aug. 20.

The three young adults employed at the thrift store were hired through a program with the county’s One-Stop Employment Center , which gave the Slater Center funding to hire 30 teens.

Getting a job, even mid-summer, was helpful for Daniel Aparicio, 18, who was hired to stock and price merchandise.

“It’s good to get the experience,” said Aparicio, a White Plains resident. “I price everything. I see if it’s new or used. I also stock stuff in the back and pull it out.”

The idea for a thrift store came to Naiyma Ford, the program coordinator for the girls’ Step Up, when Slater Center staff were brainstorming about how to raise money for their programs.

“It came together naturally because we were already getting donations,” said Ford, a White Plains resident who supervises the thrift store. “We’ve been reaching out to people that don’t like to shop thrifts but who like to donate. You get more donations now than anything.”

Still, Ford noticed customers trickling in, including some shoppers on their second visit to the thrift shop.

She hopes most merchandise can be sold before the thrift store has to streamline its stock and move into the lobby to make room for the daycare this fall.

The Slater center aims to continue operating a full-fledged thrift shop in the daycare room in future summers.

Have you visited the Slater center's thrift shop? What did you think? Did you get any good deals? Email thoughts to strangle@thedailywhiteplains.com and we'll include your responses in future coverage.

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