OVERLAND PARK, KS (April 30, 2015) -- The Treasure Chest, an on-site resale and gift shop at Tallgrass Creek retirement community, is a year-round fundraising venture managed by residents that has raised $37,000 to support community programs.
The shop offers an assortment of linens, kitchenware, china, home decor, jewelry, furniture, artwork, and lamps. Shoppers include residents, staff, and their friends and family members.
Ninety percent of the shop's proceeds goes to Tallgrass Creek's Resident Care Fund, which supports residents experiencing an unforeseen change in their financial situation for reasons beyond their control. Ten percent of the proceeds goes to the community's Student Scholarship Fund, which helps high school students working at Tallgrass Creek who are planning to attend college after graduation.
The shop, open the second and third Tuesdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is a hidden gem. It 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.
Resident Nancy McCreery, who owned and ran a drapery business for 35 years before retiring, has managed the shop since 2010.
"Since I'd run my own business, I thought managing the shop would be a good fit, so I volunteered," says Nancy, who moved to Tallgrass Creek with husband Hugh in 2008. "It's always interesting to see what different things show up and chat with people as they shop."
Residents' grandchildren leaving for college or first apartments are occasional customers, finding furniture and other items at very affordable prices. The Treasure Chest also frequently donates items to a local charity.
"It's all here," says resident Bunny Brown, a regular volunteer at the Treasure Chest. "Bargain hunters love this place."
In addition to being open for business, the shop is open for donations from residents on the first Tuesday of each month.
"It's always interesting to see what comes in the door the day we're open for donations," says Nancy. "We continue to have a full shop, and the inventory changes often."
The used jewelry display always draws lookers and buyers. Resident Trudy Marlatte provided a ladder from her former home in New Mexico to showcase the shop's necklaces.
"It draws people in," says Trudy. "Plus I can share my ladder I brought from New Mexico, a place I love."
"It's surprising how it adds up," says resident Virginia Oberheide, the store's treasurer. "It makes what we're doing worthwhile in addition to the fun and interest it provides."