Most businesspeople imagine their retirement being filled with leisure travels, golf outings and social occasions. They might possibly plan to spend a little time with a volunteer project or two- now that they have some time to spare- but volunteering would certainly not be the priority of their long-awaited new retirement time!
Such a self-absorbed attitude was certainly not one held by retired Orange County businessman Ray Havert. The successful businessman retired from a long career, but became deeply troubled by the amount of homelessness, hunger and unemployment that he saw in his community of South Orange County. In 1998 he and other volunteers began Saddleback Community Outreach, later renamed South County Outreach (www.sco-oc.org). The non-profit, non-sectarian organization has set goals to provide emergency services such as food, rental or utility assistance, transitional housing and Adopt-A-Family programs at the holidays. More importantly, their longer- term goals seek to provide resources and computer training to equip unemployed and under-employed residents to compete for jobs. SCO founder Havert summarized, “We provide emergency services- but more importantly we give people the tools to help themselves!”
This is where their thrift store entered into the picture. In 2001 SCO opened the Upscale Resale Thrift Store at 23501 Ridge Route #G Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (949-855-4158). Proceeds from the thrift store support the various outreaches of SCO and also provide clothing to those in times of crisis.
The thrift store is small but mighty, so to speak (perhaps reflecting the underlying view of SCO that everyone can make a difference, a little at a time!) You may have to hunt for the place- it is located in a nondescript business park off Ridge Route not far from a Tuesday Morning store. Though it is small, Upscale Resale always has sales and promotions (e.g. surprise Sunday specials, or discount tags on clothing items- blue is 25% off, purple 50% off, orange tag 75% off). The clothing for sale is always clean and well organized, with a small but respectable array of hats, belts, purses, shoes and other accessories. Space does not permit much in the way of large furniture or appliance items, though the assortment of decorator items and housewares is quite nice. This shop is an especially great thrift store to hunt for kid’s items. There is a unique “Build-A-Bear Boutique” at Upscale Resale Thrift, plus lots of children’s books, puzzles, toys and games. Get on the mailing list- Upscale Resale will send a postcard in the mail with all their monthly sale updates and events. Their monthly schedule always includes several days where you can get 50% off any single item by presenting the postcard at purchase.
So thrift’n-istas, next time you are in the Laguna Hills area, visit the Upscale Resale Thrift Store. There are bargains to be had- but you can also support help that really helps.