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A Linden Ponds treasure, by and for the people

Second-hand shop supports community in many ways

Created date

January 22nd, 2013

Stepping into the furniture annex of the Treasure Chest at Linden Ponds feels a bit like stepping into a living room, not just because it is filled with inviting chairs. Friendly chatter fills the air, and visitors aren t shy about making themselves comfortable in the seating options. I just love meeting the people in here, says Wilma Lorenson, who lives at the Hingham, Mass., Erickson Living community and volunteers in the on-site thrift store. They would come in and sit down, and an hour later we d still be chatting. This is just one of two outlets for the second-hand store, which, more than a social scene is also a vital fundraising component of the community. All proceeds from the Treasure Chest s sales go back into the Linden Ponds community in the form of contributions to its three philanthropic funds and additional activities run by residents. In 2012, the Treasure Chest gave a total of $18,000 divided between the three funds.

Supportive operation

A committee of 31 devoted, hard-working Linden Ponds community members volunteer in many capacities in the store s locations, says Janice Christensen, chair of the committee. The on-site gift shop invites visitors to peruse its colorful corners of jewelry, kitchenware, and home d cor, while the furniture annex, also located on-site, offers a mix of chairs, desks, shelves, and tables. Janice oversees everything from the stores day-to-day operations to the distribution of its proceeds to the benevolent care, student scholarship, and employee appreciation funds. The Benevolent Care Fund at Linden Ponds provides support to residents who encounter unforeseeable financial hardship. Linden Ponds is a not-for-profit community dedicated to supporting residents who experience an unforeseen change in their financial situation. Should a resident s finances change for reasons beyond their control, Linden Ponds Home for Life Commitmentprovides several options to protect their future. (Ask to see the Residence and Care Agreement for complete details.) The student scholarship fund supports the young employees of Linden Ponds as they pursue college degrees. And residents show their appreciation for employees by giving once a year to the employee appreciation fund. Resident-run committees may apply to the Treasure Chest for small grants once during a calendar year to assist in financing a project that will benefit the whole community. In the past, the Treasure Chest has supported the purchase of books for the community s library.

Community fixture

On a weekly basis, the Treasure Chest s furniture annex and gift shop welcome customers who frequent the Linden Ponds community. Employees and families are big customers, Janice says. People who have recently moved to Linden Ponds often make furniture donations to the Treasure Chest when they find they don t need everything they brought. Even without stepping foot in the Treasure Chest s locations, community members may have a look at the items for sale while walking by the Oakleaf Clubhouse window display, maintained by Treasure Chest committee member Wilma Kimball, or in volunteer Janet Dietche s monthly appearances on LPTV6, Linden Ponds in-house TV channel, to showcase some of the store s latest items. It s a very rewarding job, Wilma says.