Six months after fire damaged the building that housed the FCS (Family & Children’s Service) Thrift Boutique at 307 Branchport Avenue in Long Branch, forcing the agency to suspend business for the remainder of the year, we are proud to announce that the store will reopen in March in a new location just across town, at 604 Second Avenue in the West End Plaza.
FCS CEO Delly Beekman says the new store will continue to carry the same quality merchandise and is appealing to the community for donations of new and gently-used men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories to restock the shelves.
“We are very excited about our new location,” Ms Beekman explains. “The new space is a cheerful and bright, with plenty of off-street parking and walking distance to public transportation, which is particularly important to our customers who do not own cars. We are anxious to meet our new neighbors and welcome back all of our loyal customers who we have missed in the intervening months.”
Ms. Beekman is also anxious for the FCS Thrift Boutique to begin generating revenue again for agency programs and services. Since the entire inventory is donated, sales proceeds from the Boutique go directly to support programs that prevent homelessness, care for frail, elderly and disabled clients, and promote literacy and well-being in school aged children in underserved communities in Monmouth County.
“Without the generosity of our community, both those who bring clothing donations and those who shop in the store, we would not be able to fully fund many of these programs,” Ms. Beekman adds.
No one was injured when the fire broke out at the Boutique’s former location in July, but the store’s entire inventory and many of its fixtures were destroyed. The agency was unable to store donations during the six months the store was closed, so it is now appealing to the public for new donations to ensure that it has sufficient merchandise for its scheduled grand opening in late February.
The FCS Thrift boutique is asking for donations of new and gently-used men’s and women’s clothing, outerwear, shoes, handbags and accessories, including jewelry, belts, scarves, hats and gloves. Clothing donations may be dropped off at the FCS office at 191 Bath Avenue, Long Branch during regular business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, or after hours, left in the donation shed located in the parking lot at the rear of the property. Due to limited space in the new location, the Boutique will no longer carry house wares and therefore cannot accept donations of household items, including table and bed linens. For a complete list of items the Boutique needs, please refer here or call 732-222-9111. Also, please be sure to follow the Boutique on Facebook for information about the grand opening, store opening days and times, and special sales. If you are interested in volunteering at The FCS Thrift Boutique, please contact Samantha White, FCS Director of Volunteer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org