CIS Thrift Shops: COVID Operations
Still changing student lives in Brunswick County one purchase at a time
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a lot of disruption in our world. It closed schools, restaurants, churches, businesses – anything previously open closed abruptly and went on lockdown to help prevent and slow the spread of the virus. Communities In Schools of Brunswick County (CIS) and CIS Thrift Shops are no different. Everything closed down for the organization the weekend of March 21 when the last thrift shop customer made their purchase and we locked the doors.
Little did we know we would remain closed for almost two months, and even after, only able to open on a limited schedule because of the pandemic. All four CIS Thrift Shops are back open with reduced shopping hours and limited volunteers as well as necessary health and safety guidelines in place to protect our customers, volunteers, and staff. Business as usual is a little different for our shops implementing CDC recommended health and safety precautions daily for all shop operations.
CIS Thrift Shops remain a great service to the community and to Brunswick County students, with high quality merchandise and low pricing making CIS Thrift Shops a retail establishment that people have come to love. CIS Thrift Shop staff and volunteers remain dedicated to making your visit the most memorable shopping experience. Staff and volunteers offer shopping advice and go above and beyond to provide great customer service. The shops are kept clean, organized, sanitized, and welcoming to new visitors as well as long-time valued customers and community members.
Key COVID-19 precautionary measures now in place at the shops include a limited number of customers allowed in at one time and social distancing reminder signs located throughout each shop. All customers, volunteers, and staff are required to wear face masks at all times while in a CIS Thrift Shop. We have also installed directional arrows along with 6-foot distance markers throughout the shops to direct customers on traffic flow and help keep them safely spaced. Staff and volunteers regularly clean door handles, countertops, and other frequently touched items in the shops. Thrift shop donations are currently accepted by appointment only because of the need for items to sit and allow any virus contamination to dissipate before volunteers and staff can touch items, with some items quarantined for three days until they can be handled.
Customers have been patient and expressed their support that CIS Thrift Shops are back open for their thrifting needs. Customers have directly thanked shop managers for putting COVID operating measures in place and have shared how it helps them to feel safer shopping and knowing the extra protection steps put in place during the pandemic. If customers keep responding and coming out to shop, CIS Thrift Shops will continue adding additional open days to our schedules as safely as possible to meet customer demands.
Shopping at CIS Thrift Shops helps local students and families in Brunswick County, as the money raised goes back into CIS programs operating here in local communities. CIS provides the Action for Success Dropout Prevention Program located in Cedar Grove Middle School, Leland Middle School, Shallotte Middle School, South Brunswick Middle School, Waccamaw School serving K-8, and Supply Elementary, incorporating community volunteers to support student achievement. CIS also provides community-based Parenting Education Programs, 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) afterschool program, and Teen and Peer Court. Partnerships with Brunswick County Schools, the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office and others help make these programs possible.
“By supporting CIS Thrift Shops you are investing in the success of local students and in strengthening your community,” said Bonnie Jordan, Executive Director of CIS Brunswick County.
When CIS Thrift Shops are closed and not able to generate revenue, less funding is raised to support CIS programs that support local students. When students return to school in mid-August, needs will be greater than ever as students will have went through five months without their normal learning opportunities. For at risk students, the impact will be even greater than for their peers. You can support the CIS Thrift Shops, and local students, by donating gently used items for resale, shopping in one or more of our shops, or volunteering. Currently CIS is recruiting volunteers able to give a few hours weekly to serve as a cashier in our shops. Training will be provided, and you will find the CIS organization a rewarding place to volunteer and give back to your community.
CIS Thrift Shops Hours of Operation are (current thrift shop schedules can always be found at https://cisbrunswick.org/thrift-shops/):
Boiling Spring Lakes CIS Thrift Shop open weekly Thursday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Leland CIS Thrift Shop open weekly Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Southport CIS Thrift Shop open weekly Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunset Beach CIS Thrift Shop open weekly Mondays and Thursday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
All shops are accepting donations by appointment only. Customers should call their closest CIS shop to schedule a drop off.
Thank you for your continued support of CIS and CIS Thrift Shops to raise money to help at risk Brunswick County students to stay in school and obtain a strong education for a bright future. For more information about CIS of Brunswick County programs or CIS Thrift Shops, explore our website at www.cisbrunswick.org. For more information about volunteering in one of the thrift shops, please call (910) 351-8007 or email email@example.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates.