Resident-Run Shop Supports Charlestown's Benevolent Care

CATONSVILLE, MD (May 7, 2015) – Patricia Leslie, a registered nurse,  drives from the Pimlico section of Baltimore City each week to Charlestown to browse and shop at the Treasure Chest, an on-site resale and gift shop at the retirement community managed by residents that raises $15,000 annually to support Benevolent Care.

“The shopping atmosphere is pleasant,” said Leslie, who just bought a toaster for $4. “I can eat lunch after I am finished shopping and also get a chance to talk with residents.”

The Treasure Chest offers an assortment of kitchenware, home decor, lamps, small appliances, puzzles, baskets, pillows, CDs, ladies purses, scarves, and much more. Shoppers include the general public, residents, staff, and their friends and family members.

One hundred percent of the Treasure Chest’s proceeds supports the Benevolent Care Fund, which helps residents experiencing an unforeseen change in their financial situation for reasons beyond their control.

The Treasure Chest, open Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (and Mondays from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.),  is an eclectic gathering spot for many shoppers as they browse among the items both large and small that residents no longer need and donate to the shop.

More than 100 people each week visit the Treasure Chest, which is located next to the Billiards Room near the Cross Creek lobby.

Resident Gale Jenkins, a former laboratory technician who moved to Charlestown 14 years ago  from Severna Park, MD,  is the captain of the shop and is assisted by an eight-member committee of volunteers.  “We are in a good location,” she said. “Also, our inventory changes constantly.”

Residents' grandchildren leaving for college or first apartments are occasional customers, finding items at very affordable prices.

Dora Leslie, a private duty care companion,  is a regular customer who just bought three lamps, each costing just $8. “Good quality items are always for sale here,” she said. “Each item is inexpensive and each represents someone else’s treasure. I like really that.”