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Potsdam Humane Society gives thrift shop second chance

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POTSDAM — The Best Friends Thrift Shop, 8 Raymond St., will get a second lease on life.

“We’re very excited that the (Potsdam Humane Society) board decided to approve the resolution to give the Best Friends Thrift Store a six-month trial,” board member Bonnie S. Boyd said Tuesday.

The store closed late last month when owners Timothy M. And Cathy L. Connolly decided they were too busy running their other businesses to keep it going.

Since it opened in 2010, all profits from the Best Friends Thrift Shop were donated to the Humane Society.

The Connollys offered to turn the store and its inventory over to the society, but the board decided to shut it down, worried about the financial risk the society would be taking on by running the shop itself.

Now that decision has been reversed because of the efforts of Ms. Boyd and Humane Society volunteer Hilary M. Oak.

The pair persuaded the board to give the store another chance and created a business plan reliant on volunteer labor to keep it afloat.

There is still plenty of work to do before reopening April 1. The Connollys left everything behind, including the register, shelving and inventory, but the shelves are sparsely populated after the store slashed prices in its final week.

The Humane Society will begin accepting donations of used items that can be sold at the store Thursday. Items can be dropped off on site or at the Tile Company next door.

More workers also are needed. Ms. Oak will supervise the operation, which will rely almost entirely on volunteers.

Approximately 40 people have signed up so far, according to Ms. Boyd, but there are still some open slots. Volunteers are being asked to work three hours a week.

“We’re not asking a lot,” she said. “We’re just asking a little bit from quite a few people.”

In addition, the Humane Society will spend the next few weeks renovating the shop.

“It’s kind of a dull place,” Ms. Boyd said.

The walls will be painted to bring more color to the store, and steps will be taken to make its ties to the Humane Society more obvious.

“This will be a little satellite of the Humane Society,” Ms. Boyd said.

Those interested in volunteering can sign up at the Best Friends Thrift Shop Facebook page or call the Humane Society at 265-3199.

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