The Bargain Box will celebrate its grand reopening today and Saturday after closing for a few weeks to remodel.
The store has expanded into the empty building next door, adding more space for inventory.
“It looks like an actual retail store now instead of a junk store,” said the soon-to-be-president of the Children’s Guild, Lyn Scheiding. “It’s just so neat now, especially how much better the lighting is.”
The Bargain Box has been in existence for 48 years and is a nonprofit store operated by volunteers. All proceeds from the store go to Mosaic, which is an organization that provides support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Bargain Box is the money making part of the Children’s Guild.
In 2009, the Bargain Box donated $20,000 to Mosaic, which was used to purchase new furniture.
The store, which is open on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., has been open for two weeks, but its grand reopening will be Thursday and Saturday. Cookies and coffee will be available as a part of the open house.
Current Children’s Guild president Carlyn Koenig said the Bargain Box started in 1962 when a couple of doctor’s wives decided to donate some of their own belongings to Mosaic.
Since then, the Bargain Box has grown.
All the items in the store are donations from the community.
“The community supports us really well,” Koenig said. “And they supported us through this remodeling, too. The contractors all worked for much less money to help us out, because we are non profit.”
Koenig said nothing goes to waste. If an item is determined it can’t be used in the store, it is put on the Orphan Grain Train, which sends the materials to needy people all over the world. Koenig said old used rags are given to the Beatrice Humane Shelter.
Koenig said about 57 members donated nearly 5,000 volunteer hours to the Bargain Box last year. Most of those volunteers are 55 years of age or older.
She said that since they put out new items on a weekly basis, they have loyal customers who come every week to shop. Koenig said it’s not unusual to have people waiting outside the door on Thursday and Saturday morning, waiting for the store to open. Scheiding said one gentleman comes to put out their flag every week.
“It’s heartwarming what the community has done for us,” Koenig said. “We have loyal customers who come every week who are just like family. And look at all the clothes we have - we’re going to stay in business for a while.”