Thrifty River non-profit thrift store ready to help those in need

Donations of household goods needed

By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
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Donated household items are rearranged by (from left): Scott Doucette, Leanne Hoerter, Zach Dobson and Ricky Larsen.

Eight years ago when Scott Doucette was going through a divorce and just starting out as a single father, Tim and Ruth Sumner gave him the household necessities he needed. “When I get back on my feet I’d like to do what you are doing,” he said to them at the time. “So, eight years later here I am.”

In August 2011, Doucette took over Thrifty River non-profit thrift store from the Sumners. “The most rewarding aspect of the business is being able to help people,” he said.

“It’s like a large year-’round garage sale, without the weather issues,” said Leanne Hoerter, volunteer manager. “Nearly everything has been donated.”

Thrifty River offers home furnishings, other household goods and bedding for sale. Sometimes a landlord will call to donate abandoned belongings after a tenant has moved out.

“Until Christmas, the sales paid the bills,” Doucette said. “It has been a bit slower since then. But any profit that Thrifty River makes is donated to local organizations. Three local groups that have received funds are the Boys and Girls Club, the Morrison County Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity of Morrison County.”

Doucette has another job during nice weather; he cuts grass and rakes leaves for the elderly. He said, “What I take in is enough to pay for gas, but not a lot more.”

Due to a work-site injury three years ago, Doucette is now receiving disability benefits. That allows him to donate his time to Thrifty River. “Being able to do this — to help people and put a smile on someone’s face — is what is important,” he said.

“Years ago, when a neighboring farmer was having trouble we would all work together to help him out. It should be that way again,” Doucette said. “If someone doesn’t have enough money, we need to help our friend out, to work together.”

Paperwork for 501(c)3 status will be filed after the $450 filing fee is accumulated. When that happens, several agencies will be able to support Thrifty River.

Thrifty River tries to help the community in any way it can. Currently, the Morrison County Humane Society is using a storage room in the building free of charge.

Anyone is welcome to stop at Thrifty River and shop. Referrals from Social Services of Morrison County are also accepted. “People being referred receive a certain dollar amount worth of items. They are then expected to volunteer a set number of hours at Thrifty River,” said Doucette.

Hoerter began giving several hours a week to Thrifty River after Doucette helped her out. “Now I feel like I’m making a difference,” she said. “I like the look on people’s faces when we help them.”

If someone is thinking of donating, Doucette asks for more couches and beds especially. “I’ll come and pick up items if people will call,” he said. “We’ll accept any household items. If you don’t know what to do with old items, consider us.”

Thrifty River is located at 1210 N. Lindbergh Drive in Little Falls. Doucette’s cell phone number is (218) 251-0290.