Photo by Kelly White
A large crowd of customers arrived Saturday morning for the 50 percent off sale that took place the Neat Repeats resale store to mark the 30th anniversary of the shop in Worth.
Customers began to line up before the doors even opened at the Neat Repeats resale shop Saturday morning in Worth.
The crowd was expected because the resale shop has now been open in the village for 30 years and volunteers celebrated the occasion with a 50 percent off sale, which also took place at the resale shop in Orland Park.
Worth Mayor Mary Werner opened the Worth shop at 7026 W. 111th St. and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau opened up the Orland Park store at 9028 W. 159th St. on Saturday morning. Both mayors spent time at the locations talking with customers and volunteers.
The two Neat Repeats shops are owned and operated by the Crisis Center for South Suburbia, and all of total revenues from the shops provide for 30 percent of the funding for the center, which offers services for survivors of domestic violence. The center serves about 2,000 people every year.
“I know firsthand the pain and loss that this violence has caused,” said Doreen Holford, who has served as the operations manager at the Worth location. “My sister was a victim of domestic violence and did not survive. Being at Neat Repeats has allowed me to help others; but, I have gotten so much more than I have given.”
Holford has been involved with the organization for 17 years. She started as a volunteer. However, as her passion and commitment grew for the cause and the organization so did her job responsibilities.
The shops are run by a total of 200 volunteers, who are almost all women and girls, ranging from those who recently retired to high school students.
“We are very fortunate that the village of Worth has some of the best volunteers because any volunteer organization is only as good as its volunteers,” said Werner.
“Neat Repeats is special because we give our volunteers a place to contribute in their own community,” Holford said. “The volunteer’s passion for the stores and the cause is amazing to me even after all this time. They have gone through their own losses and hard times and still come back to Neat Repeats and work hard to provide funds for the agency. They are truly what inspires me. We give our customers good prices and great service and we respect every person that comes through our doors. Customers search us out for lots of reasons. Maybe they were a victim or had a family member that needed the crisis center’s services. We provide a place of comfort and support. We are thankful for each and every one of them. We wish domestic violence did not exist but we know it does and we are willing to do whatever we can for our clients and their families.”
The shops contain a large selection of women’s, junior’s, children’s and men’s clothing along with a variety of household items such as furniture, giftware, toys, books, antiques, collectibles, shoes, purses and jewelry.
"Best store for best seconds, anytime, anywhere,” said Neat Repeats customer Kris Egbert, of Orland Park.
Egbert has been a customer who has shopped at Neat Repeats for over 20 years and has brought in many new customers.
Neat Repeats originally opened in 1986 in Blue Island but moved a year later to Worth. The Orland Park location opened its doors in 2002. Items within the store are sold to the general public, but are available for clients of the Crisis Center free of charge.
“In 30 years we have seen the store grow from a mom and pop organization to two main locations that provide the Crisis Center of South Suburbia with 30 percent of their annual operating budget,” Holford said. “Without the success of the two stores, our domestic violence shelter would not be able to help families in crisis.”
New or gently used items can be donated to either location seasonally with spring and summer items accepted from March 15 through Aug. 15. Fall and winter items are accepted from Aug. 16 through March 14. All donated items are tax deductible.