Small-business spotlight

SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Resale shop offers more than good buys

2013-01-05T11:00:00Z 2013-01-14T09:49:04Z SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Resale shop offers more than good buysMelanie Csepiga Times Correspondent
January 05, 2013 11:00 am  • 

HAMMOND | Cut glass decanters, plastic-wrapped comforters and colorful, freshly scented sweaters compete for space on shelves lining the walls of Heaven's Helping Hands.

Furniture pieces, lamps and appliances both large and small fill the floor space at the thrift shop in Hammond's Hessville neighborhood.

Stan Wrobel, the nonprofit's president, believes Heaven's Helping Hands isn't your average resale storefront.

"I believe we have something unique and appealing," Wrobel said. "We feel the needy should be treated with respect and dignity," he said.

That extends to the store which volunteers keep clean and free of odor with items well displayed for easy browsing.

Additionally, every piece of clothing is inspected for stains and all electric and electronics items are checked to be certain they operate properly, Wrobel said. That kind of quality control means there are items that don't make the cut.

While Heaven's Helping Hand is billed as a resale shop, there are some donated items that are new.

Hefting a spotless, new waffle iron, Wrobel said, "Our donors are very generous."

Opened in March, Heaven's Helping Hands grew out of the outreach ministry of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Highland, of which Wrobel and wife, Vicki, are members. Beth Spisak is the store's manager and about 15 others volunteer on a regular basis.

Wrobel said more volunteers are needed to not only work during store hours, but also to handle inspections of donated items.

"This has been a dream of mine for at least five years," Wrobel said of the resale shop. There are more people in need due to the economy, and many of them have never needed help before, he said. "Many people are unaccustomed to accepting help and are hesitant to take much."

The storefront's display space covers about 3,000 square feet, Wrobel estimates. There are many couches in good to excellent condition, dinette sets, bedroom furniture, washers and dryers, clothing for male and female in adult and children sizes, books and CDs, jewelry, toys and decor pieces.

Fronting Kennedy Avenue at 171st, the building has plenty of parking.

Wrobel tells of a couple recently moved to the region from Hawaii. They are furnishing their 1,850 square feet apartment with Heaven's Helping Hand items, Wrobel said. "They're still not done," he added with a laugh.

The couple was impressed enough to tell their new neighbors who came in to shop as well.

As a ministry outreach, Heaven's Helping Hands is a new offering well supported by Our Lady of Grace pastor, the Rev. Edward Moszur.


121512-biz-brfboozeserve (bow) The hospitality division of Hammond-based Staff Source is holding alcohol server training classes later this month to help people complete a required step before obtaining a bartender license


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