Able, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. To help with the cost of providing those services, the organization operates a thrift store in Dickinson. The store sells donated used goods while providing jobs for Able’s clients, which may include them processing donations, pricing and stocking goods or taking payments at check-out.
After opening their doors almost three years ago, Able Thrift Center grew steadily with community donations. Inventory increased so much that there was no longer space to display or store all of it. Thus, the thrift center looked to expand. Ultimately, they partnered with USDA Rural Development to secure a $990,000 loan to purchased and renovate an existing building.
Since celebrating the grand opening of its’ new location in September of 2013, the store’s sales have tripled. The newly remodeled building offers plenty of parking and is at the corner of two major highways in Dickinson, which has increased the store’s accessibility to the community. Donated items have increased dramatically to about fifty times what was received at the old location. With 7,000-square-feet in sales space, the center has been able to accommodate the inventory, something not possible in the previous store’s 1,500-square-feet.
Able Thrift Center has three staff members who work at the store on a daily basis as well as three supported workers, who are Able’s clients. The store limits the number of volunteers as emphasis is put on providing paid work opportunities for people with disabilities. Currently, 19 of the over 100 Able clients work at the thrift center and there are eight regular volunteers.
Able stands for Acquiring the Basics of Living and Employment and based on that mission, the new store is helping improve the quality of life for numerous people. Not only is the thrift center providing employment for Able’s clients, but the store is also generating income that can support the organization and reinvest in all of their clients.