Celebrating 50 Years
“It’s exciting isn’t it? 50 years. Think about that, a golden anniversary for a resale shop. That’s quite an accomplishment,” said Arlene Klucina, who has been the store manager of Serendipity Resale Shop for 15 years.
The Little Friends resale shop is celebrating a special milestone. In the fall of 1971, the shop was introduced to the community. Now five decades later, it’s doing better than ever. “This wouldn’t be here without the incredible support from the people that have helped us not only the people that provide us the goods, but this entire shop runs on volunteer hours,” said Mike Briggs who is the President & CEO of Little Friends. “So it’s all volunteers that make this happen and it really is just a gift from everyone that we’re just really blessed to have happen to us.”
Overcoming a Challenge
After almost 50 years at their location on Jefferson Street in Downtown Naperville, the store made a move during what was probably the most difficult time in retail – November 2020. But as it’s always been, the combination of donations from community members, now at 41 volunteers strong, and shoppers they were able to overcome the challenge.
“It was bittersweet, that’s where we started. We were there a long time,” said Klucina. “And when we saw how we could expand, how we could improve, how we could add volunteers it got very exciting, very quickly.” The move to the Aurora Marketplace has helped the shop grow now that both the Naperville and Aurora communities know who they are.
Benefiting Little Friends
“I know it’s for a good cause and can help kids and adults and I really love to help,” said Erika McDonald who is a volunteer at the store. The money from the resale shop, which sells clothes, jewelry, toys, and more, all benefits Little Friends’ programs to support children and adults that are challenged by intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism.
“Besides your normal rent and things like that that you need to cover, everything else goes to Little Friends and that’s so great for me to know that,” said Chrissy Baka, a volunteer at the store. The Serendipity Resale Shop is located at 461 S Route 59 in the Aurora Marketplace Shopping Center.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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