One of my cardinal rules when shopping at arc Thrift Stores is to take my time in the furniture department and not disregard something based on paint or wood condition at a surface level. If I see something with a great shape or great bones, I try to look past any blemishes because things can always be refinished or painted.
I found some great pieces of furniture this summer at two of my favorite arc Thrift Stores and both needed some love. One of them was a long, low dresser that had a really amazing drawers with interesting wood grain but the top was damaged.
I don’t have the skills to totally refinish furniture yet, but I know enough to fill in gouges with wood filler and then used paint over top. I painted just the damaged part and left the beautiful drawers alone. I love how the white background makes them stand out even more.
The following week I found two vintage patio chairs across town at another arc Thrift. The bases had some rust on them but I liked the shape and the brand.
Spray paint is an invaluable tool when beautifying furniture. I did a couple quick coats and these guys are good as new and ready for cushions.
Never judge a piece of furniture by some minor boo-boos. Keep an open mind at arc Thrift Stores and you will be amazed at what you find.
Elleana Tate began working for arc in 2011. She has worked at a number of our stores: the East Colfax location, the store on South Broadway, and now at the Littleton store. Elleana’s visual impairment hasn’t stopped her one bit. The bright lights of the Littleton store make it easy for her to do her job ragging out clothes in the children’s department. But, she’s also relied upon a great deal by her team; she greets customers with her sunny smile and warm personality every day, and she’s always busy working on the sales floor and assisting in the accessories department.
Elleana is a friend to all: her supervisors, her buddy, and her peers. She makes a special effort to learn everyone’s birthdays, their children’s names, and even their hobbies. She attends Arc University and many of the social events, most especially the dances where she loves to dress up and cut loose to any song by Christina Aguilera. She loves her church family and the gospel music they sing. She is also quite the artist and is hardly ever without her sketchpad. It is through her watercolor drawings that this creative soul is able to express herself.
Mark has been with arc for over six years, and since that very first day, the Parker Landing store where he works has gleamed like a bright new penny! He loves to keep things neat and tidy, and nothing makes this 27-year-old happier than being useful. When he isn’t assisting in the B&B department, you will find him with a broom and dustpan, straightening out the aisles. His favorite task is to bring in donations and to hang new clothing items and then take the unused hangers back to production.
Mark loves attending Arc University. He enjoys bowling with his friends, music and dancing, and participating in many sports. Although he is not very verbal, he communicates brilliantly with his bright smile and joyful personality. In turn, arc has given this hard-working young man a purpose and a sense of independence that his parents say have changed his life for the better.
Elnaz has been working for arc since 2015. The Centennial store’s sales floor is a well-managed place thanks to her efficient approach to running the clothing racks and her cheerful personality. Elnaz is very active in the Arc Ambassador programs, where she has made countless friends. She is also the secretary for the arc Ambassador Civitan International volunteer group, another area where her steadfast commitment and enthusiasm come in quite handy!
Elnaz is one of our first Ambassadors to be admitted as a student to Arapahoe Community College, via a program supported by IN! – Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education. She loves campus life, but it’s the family she’s created at arc that has encouraged her to spread her wings and that brings her the most happiness!
Garret has worked for arc in the Green Mountain store for the last seven years. Garret works as a furniture assistant, but he also helps to run carts, stock shelves, and he takes and organizes donations. Garret is currently remodeling his home, so while he is sorting and organizing, he is also on the lookout for items that might fit well in his home. He recently bought a new dresser for his bedroom.
Garret loves being a part of arc because of his coworkers and supervisors who always have his back if he needs the help. He also loves being part of something that is giving back to his community every day. Garret describes himself as a people person, which is why he is the perfect employee to help customers with their furniture purchases and donations.
While Garret isn’t at work he is typically attending arc University classes, fishing, climbing, or playing sports with his friends. Garret’s favorite sports are volleyball, softball, and basketball so he always has a sport to play no matter the time of year.
In his downtime, Garret loves captivating television shows like NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, and Lost.
Garret was recently the featured Ambassador on Denver7. Watch his appearance here.
Homeless people often rely on the generosity of strangers and nonprofit organizations for assistance when they lack a roof over their heads and the basic necessities of life. Giving Care Bags to the homeless can supply these individuals with items that may be difficult to come by and provide a touch of kindness during a period of their life when they need it the most.
At the last get-together, the arc Ambassador Civitan Club made over 100 Care Bags that will be donated to a homeless shelter in the Denver area. Some of the many items that are needed and that we included in our Care Bags are socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, band-aids, chapstick, protein bars, and many other essentials. As the Civitan creed says, “MY HANDS do the work of the world and reach out in service of others.” The arc Ambassador Civitan Club made it their mission on this day to help make the world a more compassionate place
If you would like more information on ways you can support and empower the most vulnerable groups in our community, visit the websites of our arc Thrift Stores partners, the Denver Rescue Mission https://www.denverrescuemission.org/Donate-Items# or Volunteers of America https://www.voacolorado.org/about to find out how you can make a difference to those in need.
Emily is an Ambassador currently working at the Green Mountain location in Lakewood. She recently moved to this new store from the Jewell location, where she worked for about two years. At arc Emily takes care of ragouts and putting items away that have been taken off the shelves.
Emily loves to be a part of arc, not only for the mission and good work she does but also because of all her fellow workmates. She loves being at this new location because she gets to meet new coworkers and customers, and it’s a chance for her to get closer to a whole new group of people.
When Emily isn’t at work she is either taking arc University classes and trips, hanging with her mom, or spending times with animals. Her favorite activity is to go to the zoo and see the animals, especially the giraffes. On a lucky day she might actually be able to feed one right out of her hand! Her passion for the zoo began when she went there with an arc University group. But she has made sure to steer clear of snakes and roly polies because they are the only animals she is not a fan of (and who can blame her!).
Emily also loves to ride horses or to have spa days with her mom.
On reflecting on being a featured Ambassador on Denver7, Emily said: “It was truly amazing; I still feel so special.”