“This is a dream we didn’t even know we had,” PROP Shop executive director Cindy Eddy says about the organization’s new warehouse.
“I didn’t plan in my life for any of this. You just have to be ready for an opportunity.”
A walk through the warehouse reveals a spacious area for furniture, and rooms filled with organized packages of toys, coats, shoes and boots.
You can visit the warehouse too, next week as PROP Shop hosts its first Furniture Warehouse Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the PROP Shop warehouse, 14770 Martin Drive.
PROP Shop is a nonprofit re-sale store that sells new and gently used items to everyone in the community. The PROP Shop also offers a separate Family Service Center, which provides clothing, housewares and furniture to referred families and individuals in need in Chanhassen and Eden Prairie. The PROP Shop is also on Martin Drive in Eden Prairie.
Eddy said that before they added the warehouse a few months ago, items that needed to be stored were kept in volunteers’ basements and garages.
“We gave away 26 beds in one month,” Eddy said. “The need isn’t dropping ... We’re now helping 20 to 25 families a day.”
Most-needed items at PROP Shop continue to include socks, underwear and bedding.
“That’s what we do if we have any extra money after expenses, then we buy things for families,” Eddy said.
As the school year starts, demand has grown for school clothes. The PROP Shop received 500 pairs of new school shoes from Kohl’s, Eddy said. The warehouse space also makes it possible to accept donations like this.
This weekend, the PROP Shop will be offering furniture from estate sales for sale as a fundraiser to support its operations. You’ll find chairs, tables, couches, dressers, china cabinets, end tables, desks and storage.
Eddy said that she met two women who operated an estate sale program, where they would get furniture that was left after estate sales, then have a sale once a year to benefit a charity. The women were not going to continue and they offered their contacts and information to the PROP Shop.
Eddy said that with the warehouse space secured and updated, now they can try to host a sale.
“It all kind of fell into place,” Eddy said.
The income from the furniture will be used to buy needed items like blankets, sheets, beds, shoes, boots, coats and mittens, she said.
“We don’t know how it’s going to work, but we’re going to try,” Eddy said.
They hope to have sales several times a year, offering upscale items as well as bargains.
“At all times, still, we have 50 families waiting for beds,” Eddy said, “40 families waiting for dressers, 25 waiting for tables and chairs.
“Now we have room to ask for it,” she said. “We would like to give them a bed, with new bedding, a mattress pad and pillows.”
The PROP Shop had 3,000 square feet of sales space. The warehouse adds about 4,000 square feet, she said.
There’s even a bit of athletic equipment in the warehouse, and that is just the beginning, Eddy said.
Next on the agenda is offering sporting equipment for families in need so kids can participate in more extracurricular activities.
“Won’t that be great?” Eddy said.
Eddy said that 94 percent of PROP Shop revenue goes to the organization’s mission to help families. “Less than 2 percent of nonprofits can say that,” she added.
“The people of Eden Prairie are unbelievable — how hard they work, how many people want to help when they understand what the need is,” she said. “People all want to help. It’s incredible.”
The sale is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the warehouse, 14770 Martin Drive.