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‘Thriftology’ thrift store offers deals, community aid

Mayor touts importance of store in speech

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Fremont’s premier thrift store – aptly named Thriftology – offers community members and shoppers both good deals and aid for those in need. That dual aspect of the downtown Fremont store was touted by Mayor Joey Spellerberg in his Jan. 17 state of the city address.

The store has been at its downtown location, 300 N. Main St., at the corner of Main Street and East Third Street, since January of 2022, said Care Corps' Lifehouse Executive Managing Director Julie Sleister. The store allows for both free items for those in need who possess a voucher as well as shopping at a reduced price for members of the public.

“It is open to the public for affordable clothing and household items, among other products,” Sleister said. “Community members in need can get vouchers to acquire housewares, clothes, bed and bath items and hygiene products.”

Care Corps' Lifehouse is a community nonprofit focused on helping those in need in Dodge County and Fremont, providing financial assistance for rent and other expenses like utility bills; a food pantry; job counseling and assistance and other services.

Sleister said residents in need can receive vouchers from both Care Corps' Lifehouse as well as four other main community charity organizations: the Dodge County Headstart, the Fremont Area United Way, the Salvation Army and Lutheran Family Services.

In addition to selling a variety of goods and products, there is a case manager on site inside the store in the event a resident or customer with needs for community assistance asks for more help.

On Friday, Jan. 20, the Fremont Tribune visited the store where several customers were perusing items and buying goods, including clothes, small kitchen appliances and DVDs.

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One shopper, 37-year-old Omrianna Fighter, said she shops at Thriftology frequently and it is helpful for both her and her 3-year-old daughter. Fighter said she is a client of Care Corps' Lifehouse rental assistance program and it has been a “lifesaver” for her family.

“I am a participant in the Lifehouse programs. I receive housing rental assistance,” Fighter said as she purchased several boxes of goods. “I both donate stuff and buy stuff. (I’m buying DVDs) to keep the little one entertained.”

Store employee Maycee Fagan said she’s worked at Thriftology for many years and said she loves being able to help community members and give back.

“I started back working here full time after I finished college in July 2022,” Fagan said. “I love working with the (Care Corps) volunteers. I really like what we do (at Thriftology), it being affordable helps people. It also brings me a lot of good feelings personally, and helping people is nice.”

Sleister said she and others at Care Corps' Lifehouse have gotten a lot of positive feedback on Thriftology.

“It is a great place to get a good deal. A large percentage of my wardrobe, I get there,” Sleister said. “A lot of people say the store looks like a boutique. We did our best to make it upscale for a thrift store. We want to make it a good shopping experience. We accept gently used items two days a week. Our community, we are so blessed with amazing donors.”

Thriftology is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Thursday, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday, it is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store is closed on Sunday.

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