We hope this email is finding you safe and sound in the comfort of your home. This Coronavirus outbreak has tested all of our patience and resolve as we get through this tumultuous time. The Governor of California issued a Stay at Home order on March 19th, yet we made the decision to close our Thrift Store on March 14th out of an abundance of caution. Everyday we handle donations from up to 40 people. We also ring up over 100 sales a day exchanging currency and swiping credit cards. We help bag items, carry items out to customer’s vehicles, take donations from vehicles and offer pickup service of donations across southern Santa Barbara County. Staying open any longer would have been putting our employees and customers at risk of being exposed to this virus. It was a tough decision at the time, especially making the call before we were required to do so. Looking back, it was the right decision. Our thrift store employees have all been temporarily furloughed until this situation improves.
We’ve been in the Thrift Store business for over 10 years now. We’ve had 5 different locations over that time with as many as 3 stores open simultaneously. Recently we closed our flagship Carpinteria store to focus solely on the larger, more profitable Goleta store. We have found the larger format to be much more successful due to the variety of items we can accept and display at once. This has led to customers browsing longer and making bigger “piles” of great things to buy. It’s led to great furniture items being donated, awesome collectibles, amazing original art and one of kind custom pieces. The income generated by our Goleta store covers the majority of our costs in Haiti, including funding the large majority of construction costs it took to build our school, kitchen, and restrooms. It also fills in gaps in our child sponsorship program which covers 15 employee salaries consisting of our Project Manager, Principal, teachers, cooks, cleaning staff and maintenance workers. We have also been able to cover emergency situations like funerals or medical costs for students and their families.
Destined for Grace looks forward to the day that we can re-open our thrift store to customers, welcome back our employees, and continue raising money to fund our school in Haiti. We do not have an expected re-open date, but will keep you posted as to when we believe it is safe to resume. While stuck at home, many have reached out letting us know they have donations they would like picked up. If you would like to be contacted when we have availability again, please reply to this email or call 805-619-0649 and leave a message.
Haiti is a country familiar with hardship. The Coronavirus has found its way to Haiti and disrupted their daily lives in the same ways it has ours. A lack of infrastructure and conditions that make the ability for containment difficult, will only amplify the situation there. Our school closed last week and our families have been given a "Stay at home" order. Our students are resilient and are far too familiar with studying at home as they did for a good portion this past fall during countrywide protests and unrest. They will get through this, so will we.
While we fortunately have generated some savings to continue supporting our fifteen employees in Haiti, we still ask for your assistance with these ongoing expenses. Haiti does not have resources such as unemployment to sustain them during times of hardship. Our employees rely on this pay to survive and we will do everything we can to continue supporting them. This week our teachers sent lesson plans to all the parents at our school. They have been instructed on how to help their children continue their studies at home and will be checked in with weekly. We ask that you consider donating to Destined for Grace in an effort to continue supporting our Haitian employees and students. Any amount you can give would be most appreciated. Please donate by clicking on the donate button below or by sending a check to Destined for Grace Children’s Relief, P.O. Box 925, Carpinteria, Ca 93014. As always, donations are tax deductible.
We look forward to the day when our school is back open, everyone is healthy and well and we can resume business as usual. Stay well.