The Dove’s Nest Thrift Shop, 6603 Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne, has made the difficult decision to close its doors temporarily during the busiest time of the year.
“We are closing due to COVID-19, in order to protect our volunteers. Most of them are elderly and we are just trying to keep them safe,” Susan Herbert, assistant manager, said.
A few volunteers have contracted COVID-19 while others have been exposed to the virus.
“Two or three people have gotten COVID-19 and a few others have been exposed. They are under self-quarantine,” she said. Herbert has worked at the Dove’s Nest Thrift Shop for 15 years.
In a Dove’s Nest Facebook post, Joan Heise, general manager wrote, “We will be open on Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28th. Then we will be closing for a few weeks due to COVID-19 to protect our vulnerable volunteers and customers. We will NOT be accepting donations while closed. Thank you for your loyal support, continued patronage and your patience during these uncertain times.”
What is more certain are the numbers of volunteers, customers and charities affected by the temporary closure.
The local Dove’s Nest Thrift Shop has 30 to 40 volunteers, including clerks and backroom staff. Several hundred customers shop weekly at the thrift store. Additionally, many charities benefit from the profits made on donated goods. The Dove’s Nest Thrift Shop is part of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Great Lakes Region. The MCC has an office in Goshen. Purchases and donations help provide food, healthcare, education, employment, and much more to 60 countries throughout the world.
“Our business also depends on donations and that is another thing we will be losing because we are not going to be open. The last time we closed people would consider holding onto their donations. When we reopened, they brought them in so we could keep our store running,” Herbert said
The store was closed for two and a half months beginning in March due to the pandemic, she said.
“The difference this time, is we are in our busiest season. “We have people that wait for our Christmas things to go out. They are calling in October asking, ‘When are you going to open up your Christmas shop?’ We even had one lady say she always takes that day off. So, people are always waiting for that,” Herbert said.
Recovering from lost revenue during an extended closure at the busiest time of the year is a challenge.
“It’s a big loss for us at this particular time of the year. We will recover certainly, but it will take some time,” Herbert said.
To get updates about when the store will reopen check Facebook for reopening information.
Additionally, the large roadside sign on Stellhorn Road is expected to be updated with reopening information.