Second Chance Thrift Store Gives Back to the Community

The Second Chance thrift store is just a seven-minute drive from campus, located at 705 East Lincoln Road. Proceeds directly fund Family Promise, a nonprofit that supports families experiencing homelessness and low-income families.

“Seeing people living an easier life, seeing them happier after getting help with things, and having connections with the community is ultimately why I volunteer here,” said Jasmain Lee, a sophomore Bonner Scholar. She volunteers three times a week at Second Chance Thrift Store. 

Almost all of the items for sale are donated by community members. The store is stocked with toys, accessories, books, movies, housewares, decor and furniture. The one item you won’t see in the store is clothing, which has been in low demand throughout the pandemic.

Aaron Davis, the store’s manager, emphasizes that donations should be of good quality. “When I say quality, I mean it can’t be really stained, have some weird smells or rips. [It needs to be] at least nice enough to give to a family or sell to someone else,” he said.

Davis personally determines prices for most items, prioritizing affordability. “I try to think, if I was someone looking for something, ‘Would I buy this?’ ‘Would someone else want to buy it?” Davis said. 

Second Chance is not only a great place to shop, but also a great place to volunteer. “We fully support having volunteers come in and help us. And it gives them a kind of sense of what it is to be a part of a community and help others.” Davis said. 

Jasmain Lee is familiar with many volunteer programs, but continues to solely work with Second Chance because of their message and what it means to her. “You have a community within a community.” Lee said. 

Lee spends most of her volunteer time sorting items, stocking shelves, answering the phone and helping customers around the store. Lee helps get information about donations that need to be picked up, too.

A memorable experience that Lee recalls warming her heart was a family living in their car that she found out through conversation needed appliances. “We gave [the appliances] to them for free, because that’s what you do for families in need, and later on I prayed for them.” Lee said. 

Second Chance’s mission is to help families for as long as they can, and Davis’s goal is for the store to thrive. He hopes the store will soon have a sign for all to see. “We need everyone to know we’re here; we’re here to stay. We need people’s help to get the word out that we have great items,”  Davis said. 

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