Agency Urging Patience during Branchport Avenue Bridge Closure
LONG BRANCH, NJ, May 15, 2013 – Six months after being hit by Hurricane Sandy, the Family & Children’s Service (FCS) Thrift Boutique in Long Branch is facing a new hurdle in its effort to maintain business – road construction. The Boutique, located at 307 Branchport Avenue, sits at the foot of the Branchport Avenue Bridge which has been closed for repairs since early April. County officials had hoped to reopen the bridge, which connects Long Branch and Oceanport, by Memorial Day, but now say it may be another month before repairs are completed. Detour signs direct motorists around the bridge and eventually back on to Branchport Avenue, but the agency is concerned that the prolonged closing could impact business.
“We had a very successful reopening in February following our devastating losses during Hurricane Sandy,” says FCS CEO Delly Beekman. “We don’t want this to set us back, so we are encouraging our customers and donors to be patient and perhaps make an extra effort to visit us during this time.”
Ms. Beekman points out that proceeds from the sale of items in the Thrift Boutique fund FCS programs and services which fulfill its mission to help people at vulnerable times in their lives through education, intervention, care and counseling. Following Hurricane Sandy, when rising flood waters destroyed the store’s interior and wiped out its inventory, the store was forced to close for three months, resulting in significant revenue loss for the agency. A $10,000 grant from the Robin Hood Relief Fund, along with assistance from several local businesses, helped the agency rebuild and reopen.
Currently, the store is in need of donations of new and gently used men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, linens and household items. Donated items can be brought to the store during normal business hours which are: noon to 5 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A complete list of items the store accepts and does not accept can be found on the agency’s website at www.fcsmonmouth.org
The FCS Thrift Boutique is also actively seeking volunteers. There are many benefits to volunteering at the shop. Volunteers can set their hours according to their own schedules, work just a few hours a month, or several times a week. They can volunteer alone, or with a group of friends. Previous retail experience is not necessary; however, all volunteers must complete a volunteer application. To volunteer, or for updates about the FCS Thrift Boutique, visit the agency’s website or follow the store’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thethriftboutique.