From Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic to…Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

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Springfield Township Middle School Stars Shine Their Light
on the Impact LIVE Program.  
Thanks!!!

Dressed in their vibrant, red “STAR” T-shirts, 7th grade student leaders from Springfield Township Middle School cheerfully filed into the Montgomeryville Impact Thrift Store bright and early on a Tuesday morning. The STAR leaders (which is an acronym that stands for Springfield Middle School students learn about recyclingStudents Accepting Responsibility) visited the store as a part of their Impact LIVE Student Leadership experience. The Impact LIVE program was specifically designed by Impact Thrift Stores, to promote community service, leadership and entrepreneurship to Elementary, Middle, and High School students; whereby the students partner with Impact Thrift Stores to host an in-school collection drive event to ultimately benefit families and children in need.

Tamika Miller and Jo Greenawalt introduce Impact Thrift to Springfield Middle School studentsEach school that participates in the Impact LIVE program has an opportunity to visit one of three Impact Thrift Store locations, where they receive an orientation from members of the Marketing team, a grand tour of the store, donations processing department, and metal recycling, as well as take part in a service project.

The field trip is a vital component of the Impact LIVE program because Impact Thrift feels that the first step in teaching children about donating, reducing waste, and recycling is to explain to them why they should donate and recycle.  What is most important is that the children get a sense that the earth is their home, and therefore it deserves their care and respect. Donating and recycling to help others in need teaches students that there is a strong interconnectedness between each other, their community, and the environment, and that their daily actions can affect the earth in either a positive or negative way.

The Marketing Team customized Springfield’s field trip to focus specifically on the three R’s: Reducing, Reusing and RecyclingGeorge Sturgis demonstrates creating jewelry with silverwareAs each student was led through the store they were able to identify the types of items to inspire their friends, school mates, families and neighbors to donate and recycle. They were also challenged to think of creative ways to use some of the more popularly donated items; perhaps re-designing a dress into a charming apron… transforming an entertainment center into an armoire… …turning an old television into a fish tank…creating retro hip spiral notebooks by recovering them with funky 70’s album covers.

The theme of the day was to re-imagine and think outside of the box. A repurposing demonstration was led by Impact Thrift’s Feasterville assistant store manager, George Sturges. George showed the students how to transform silverware into rings, bracelets, key chains, and even beautiful wind chimes. Once the students started thinking outside of the box they realized that the possibilities were endless.

students create projects from books and paperThe students concluded the morning by creating their very own repurposed craft projects from donated items found within the store. By doing this, Impact Thrift was able to share with the students a few fun recycling projects, and as a result they were inspired to reduce their ecological footprint, that is, their impact on the environment.

 

For more information about the Impact LIVE program, click here!

You are Cordially Invited to our Grand Opening Celebration!

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cropped Feasterville front with partial signPlease join us on Saturday, April 21, 2012, Impact Thrift Stores for the Grand Opening Celebration of our long awaited 4th and by far largest thrift store in Feasterville, PA!  Starting with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 10 am, the day will be filled with music, refreshments, appearances by local media personalities, exciting give-aways, activities for the kids and SHOPPING of course!

Located on Street Road and Bustleton Pike in the Bucks Crossing Shopping Plaza, Impact Thrift is moving into the very large space that once housed Value City, next to the new Staples.  This new location will offer shoppers 40,000 square feet of high-quality retail space – making this Impact Thrift’s largest store to date… and perhaps the largest thrift store on the east coast!

When:  Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 10 am to 6 pm

Where: Impact Thrift Store, Street Road and Bustleton Pike, Feasterville, PA in the Bucks Crossing Shopping Plaza.  Click here for driving directions.

What: Grand Opening Celebration!

  • All Day… Shopping (of course!)  Receive special discounts, enter to win fabulous door prizes, meet representatives of our various supported charities.
  • 10 am – Ribbon Cutting with our Executive Team, Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce Representatives and other local dignitaries.
  • 10 am – 1st 100 customers (one per family) receive a free gift!
  • 11 am - 1 pm Balloon Sculptures and activities for the children
  • 11 am – while supplies last… Snacks
  • 1 pm –  The highlight of the day will be a spectacular Runway Fashion Show of Impact Thrift fashions including men, women and children and a spectacular finale! After all… what would a fashion show be without a spectacular finale!

The Glam Thrifter, Sheila FortsonOur fashion show hostess and emcee will be local media personality, Sheila Fortson-Williams. Recognized by Glamour Magazine OnlineThe Philadelphia Daily News, Lehigh Valley Magazine, and additional blogs and publications, Sheila Fortson-Williams is an accomplished media professional known to many as “The Glam Thrifter”, thanks to her ability to find looks that fashion lovers adore at rock bottom prices. One of her favorite ways to save is by finding awesome deals at Impact Thrift Stores. Sheila is a Radio & TV host, author, and the owner of Hidden Glam Boutique, in Ambler PA. She is excited to bring over 10 years of combined retail and media experience as Impact Thrift Store’s first fashion ambassador! Be on the lookout for The Glam Thrifter as she shares tips and ideas on our website, hosts workshops, supports Impact Thrift events, all while honoring our organization’s mission of supporting charities in need. Join Sheila online at www.hiddenglam.com.

Hope you can join us for this fun-filled event and exciting day!

St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans

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Besides the traditional wearin’ o’ the green… 

A man dressed as a leprechaun grins for the camera in New Orleans. Photograph by Taylor S. Kennedy, National Geographic

and making corned beef and cabbage for dinner, try these fun and entertaining ideas and activities with your friends, family & co-workers this weekend.

Leprechauns are believed to be little old men who make shoes for fairies. Legend says that if you catch a leprechaun, you can force them to tell you where they hid their pot of gold.   

a devise to catch those pesky Leprechauns

Leprechaun Catcher

You and your wee ones may want to try your hand at building a trap to catch a leprechaun using household items and arts & crafts supplies.  You can use anything shiny and gold as bait. Here at Impact Thrift Stores we have lots of unusual trap-making paraphernalia. Our Leprechaun trap was constructed using a vintage cake keeper ($3.00), a ruler (.50), a bit o’ green yarn (.50), a small metal pot (2.00) and a wad gold holiday trim (.50) stuffed inside.  We would love to see your Leprechaun traps!  Send us pictures and we’ll post them online!

Leprechauns are masters of trickery and love to play jokes on us humans! They have also been known to turn things green and  everything from the milk in your fridge to the water in the toilet bowl is fair game.  They may also try to hide your car keys in a strange place or tie your shoelaces together, so watch out!  Sometimes they leave funny notes on paper shamrocks for those that they play their tricks on.

Did you know that another St. Patrick’s Day tradition started by school children is pinching classmates who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. This tradition has grown with the times, and even if you aren’t a school child, beware on St. Patrick’s Day if you aren’t wearing green! 

Click here for a great National Geographic article about the history of St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Transition your Wardrobe from Winter into Spring

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pastel dot top with winter grey suitEarly weather can be warm one day and cool the next! How do you satisfy your urge to come out of fashion hibernation without freezing to death in a sundress and flip flops???  The key is to translate what’s in for Spring 2012 into layers and a pops of color.  Here are some style tips that will make getting dressed a whole lot easier while Mother Nature makes up her mind about the temperatures!

Add a hot pink scarf to an otherwise dark outfit for a look that says “I’m ready for spring!”

red flat shoesPut a pop of color in your outfit with a pretty pair of shoes or a colorful necklace!

Color blocking is a big trend for this spring.  The most versatile way to do this is to layer different colored pieces together.  Just keep the bright colors to 3 or less to keep from looking like a bag of skittles.

While the tan trench is a wardrobe classic, if you’re looking for a pick-me-up to beat the winter blues, try a colorful coat to cheer up your whole look.

Thick sweaters, wool pants and heavy coats can move to the back of your closet as soon as spring arrives. However, there are several  “in between” pieces that will still work in your spring wardrobe. Lightweight cardigan sweaters, particularly those in spring colors, are perfect transitional items. Layer your outfit with a cardigan and then take it off during the daytime as the weather warms up.

a pop of color in a bright, lightweight jacketYou can change the look of any outfit by adding a bold print. The same gray business suit can have a whole different look when paired with a pastel polka dot top. This season, floral, or graphic prints in colorful patterns and polka dots are a big hits.strands of colorful necklaces

And the easiest of all is always to add a chunky statement necklace and bracelet in pretty spring colors to any otherwise neutral cool weather outfit.  Bright and fun handbags work well for this also.sleeveless polka dot dress with pink scarf-wrap

All items found at Impact Thrift Stores: Gray Suit $12.00, Pastel Polka Dot Top $3.99, Red Shoes $4.00, Black Pinstripe Suit $29.99, Pink Top $3.99, Pink Scarf $2.99, Green Top $3.49, Green Necklace $1.00, Coral Jacket $17.99, Lime Green Coat $18.99, Black & White Polka Dot Dress $19.99, Assorted Jewelry $1.00 to $10.00

Post by: Heather Hamilton

Chore Wars: A Spring Cleaning Challenge!

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It’s that time again… time for the dreaded Spring Cleaning Weekend!  On an average weekend, maybe your kids are whining… “I have nothing to do!”  “I’m bored!”the white glove dust test

But mention spring cleaning and it’s amazing how many activities they can find for themselves!

This year, why not turn Spring Cleaning into a Field Day-type challenge!

Let the games begin: Start by choosing team names and colors! Each team or individual will need a team name and color of course… brainstorm with each for the name and color that fits their personality.

Set an attainable goal for the day whether that be for each child to clean their own room or for the whole family to clean the common living spaces – or both! Determine prizes so the kids know what they are playing for…maybe a favorite meal, trip to a favorite playground or attraction or their choice of game for family game night or movie for family movie night! Have enough prizes so that everyone wins!

Next, plan some cleaning/organizing activities and turn them into a challenge of epic proportions… here are our suggestions:

  • Supportive: Set up a spot in each area for placing items for donation…. Which family member’s pile is largest? Which includes the most variety? Which includes the most treasured items?
  • Organizational: Who can sort and organize their own stuff in the shortest amount of time. Encourage everyone to touch it once and make a decision.  Invest in some large baskets, decorative boxes, or under the bed containers. Have each family member sort their own collection of whatever they collect whether that be books, crafts, matchbox cars, stuffed animals… only keeping out the items that they use often or really enjoy seeing.  Everything else can either be stored in a container or added to the donate pile.
  • Athletic: Dust Bunny Races - What better way to shine a floor than letting the kids in slide up and down the hallway in white socks! Dust Bunny Roundup –  Who can find the most dust bunnies under their bed?
  • Exploration: Turn your kitchen cabinets or pantry into an archaeological dig or CSI-style investigation… who can find the most expired items in your panty?  Organize items by least enjoyed (canned peas maybe?) to most loved (chocolate pudding?) Challenge them to create a dinner menu with what they find.
  • Creativity: Challenge each member of the family to find something in their room or area that they haven’t seen for a really long time while sorting and organizing their piles of stuff. Have each family member create a story about the item… where has it been?  What adventures has it experienced?
  • For the Fashionista: Organize a Fashion Show! Have each family member try on the clothing in their closet that they haven’t worn in the past 3 months… does it fit?  Can it be handed down to a younger sibling or little cousin?  If not, add it to the donate pile!

And… nothing worse than cleaning in silence! Play music that’s upbeat… and loud! Get them moving, get them dancing, get them singing along.  Everything is more fun with music!  Give each child a chance to play his/her favorite. Or have each play their favorite in their own room – loudly!  How often do they get to do that?

Most importantly… Have fun! 

There Is A Secret Weapon In Your Closet

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I dare you to take a sneak peek into any woman’s overstuffed closet.

I’ll bet you’ll be shocked and flabbergasted at what you’ll find! Amidst that overflowing arsenal of shirts, slack and shoes you’ll find that a woman’s actual wardrobe is largely unrealistic. What do I mean by unrealistic? A large portion of a woman’s closet is not comprised of what she actually wears, but what she hopes to wear…someday. Quiet as it’s kept, a woman’s closet is a mirage, an optical illusion of fabric; existing solely as a private concealment of some-day-if-I pray-hard enough-I will-fit-into- this-again outfits. Much of the clothing items found hanging on for dear life in a woman’s closet (in perfectly good shape) are too small, brand new with the tags still attached, or, worst of all, have been living in that closet for so long that, eventually, just maybe, they will become fashionable again. Well, don’t hold your breath.

Women, don’t beat yourselves up about this too badly, for you are not alone. Just take a look at your husband’s or father’s closet. How many clothing items do the men in our lives cling to for nostalgia sake? If you look into a man’s closet I’m sure you’ll find his old outgrown university sweatshirt, his old track shorts from junior year, or a faded Led Zepplin t-shirt.  I mean, do they ever buy anything new? Are they holding off on buying new jeans, tshirts and sweatpants until the old ones disintegrate into dust?

And, last but not least, what about our daughters? By the time they get around to wearing this season’s hottest styles, a new clothing fad has taken the mall hostage; and they wouldn’t be caught dead in those perfectly good skinny jeans anymore.

Well, this is my call to action! It’s time for all us to do something about this clothes hoarding epidemic. Today, I encourage you to fling open your closets and drawers…and storage containers under the bed. Grab a hold of everything that doesn’t fit you, and…free yourself! I challenge you to truly take a good, long, honest look at your closet, and if you haven’t worn an item in a year, or more, its time to clear it out. Stop stockpiling clothes that you’ll probably never wear, and offer them a new life by donating them.

As an employee of Impact Thrift Stores I have seen first-hand how gently-used, donated clothing and shoes have positively changed the lives of so many people in need right here in our own communities. Impact Thrift graciously accepts gently-used clothing, as well as housewares, furniture, books and other donated items, and the net proceeds from the sales provide financial support to a variety of local charities.  Impact Thrift’s financial support of these local non-profits enables their staff to spend more time doing what they do best…feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, assisting the blind, and supporting children and families in crisis.

But there’s more to it! Impact Thrift Stores in Montgomery County has always been creative about clothing recycling options. I’m sure you’d be surprised to know that even if a clothing item that you are considering for donation is ripped, has a stain, or is missing a button, Impact Thrift still encourages you to donate that item, instead of just throwing it away. You may ask why? The reason is simple. All donated clothing that is deemed unsellable in their stores is sold by the pound, and the money generated from recycling also goes to support other locally-based non-profit organizations.  Once the clothing that is recycled leaves Impact Thrift Stores, it goes through a multi-tiered recycling infrastructure; which includes being donated to homeless shelters, being shipped to people in need in third world countries, or shredded to make rags, ceiling tiles and insulation materials.

Did you ever think that donated clothing had the power to do all of those wonderful things? Who knew there was a secret weapon hiding in your closet? It should make you think twice before you carelessly toss clothing into the trash.

The clothing in your closet should enhance your life in some way. Your wardrobe should be beautiful…it should motivate you…it should be useful. A beautiful dress should make you feel good about yourself! A great fitting pair of jeans should put an extra pep in your step! Overall your wardrobe should make you feel beautifully dressed and empowered. If not, then those items should not be taking up valuable real estate in your closet. Don’t keep clothes a prisoner in your closet. Liberate them by donating them. If you finally let go, you’ll realize that holding on to things- even clothing- keeps you in the past, and by donating them, you’ll not only be moving forward, but you’ll be empowering the lives of others.

By Tamika Miller, Community Outreach Coordinator, Impact Thrift Stores

Also published in the February/March 2012 issue of Montgomery County Women’s Journal

 

Going… Going… Gone!

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Hhhmmmm…. wonder what that is!Strange and interesting donation

How many times have you picked something up in a thrift store and asked yourself that question?  We ask every day as donations are dropped at our back door.  Often we will know… it’s baking dish or a tote bag, maybe it’s a deep fryer or a dresser.

But other times, we just look at items with wonderment… “Can you believe someone donated that?” “Wonder what that is.”  “Cool!”  or “If we take this and add that to it… it could be…”

sewing machine with original box

 

Often the more interesting and unusual items find their way to our Silent Auction. These items are not always “antique” or “collectible” but are always unique, interesting and nostalgic.

When possible, we will do a little research into the item if it is signed, if it has a label or some kind of obvious back story.  We do not authenticate items but put them out for bid “as is”.  The market value of each item is determined by you, the bidding public.

The rules are simple:

  • Acquire a bidding number from any of our stores.  Your number is unique to you, can be used at all stores, and does not expire.
  • You may bid on as many items as you like, following the minimum bid increments over a previous bid.
  • The item auction is over after 7 days of inactivity at which point the highest bidder is declared the winner. If the winning bidder reneges in the purchase, that bidder may be banned by store management from future participation.
  • Bidding must be completed in person.  A bid can not be placed via telephone or electronically.

 

Would you be our Valentine?

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Surround Yourself with the Colors of LoveThe origins of Valentine’s Day may be shrouded in mystery but the modern day celebration has evolved into a warm highlight of the cold and (usually) snowy mid-winter.  Whether you celebrate with a spouse, significant other, your children, family or friends, Valentine’s Day offers a fabulous opportunity to show those around you how much they mean to you.

Begin with an Impact Thrift Gift Certificate… Nothing says love like an opportunity to thrift shop and recycle!  To that, just add…

Chocolate… Need we say more!?

Chocolate is the flavor of the season, whether it be of the bon bon variety, multi layer cake, served with fruit for dipping or chips in cookies! Decadent? Yes!  But chocolate also contains anti-oxidents and is thought to reduce blood pressure and possibly lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

AND chocolate is a member of two food groups… dairy (milk chocolate, right?) and cocoa beans are a fruit!  Whole Food Markets offers this interesting Guide to Chocolate which will fill you in on all the details.   The Whole Foods blog also offers a variety of recipes for chocolate delights! Or for the ready-made variety, visit Asher’s Chocolates in Souderton, PA!  You can even take a tour of their production facility!

Add… A day with the kids…

There are so many fun craft and cooking projects that are perfect for you to try with your kids or their entire class at school.  Your kids would love to make you hand made Valentine’s Day cards, paper flowers, coupon booklets or heart garland!  Free templates and ideas can be found at www.valentines.tipnut.com.

If your kids love to bake or you are in charge of snacks for your child’s Valentine’s Day party at school… and have no restrictions for bringing food into the classroom (peanuts, etc.), try this recipe for Red Velvet Cupid’s Arrow Cupcakes from Bakerella.com.  The recipe includes instructions for the fun and simple cupid’s arrow that punctures the cupcake!  If we didn’t have so many Girl Scout cookies in my house, we’d be baking this one ourselves!

Add… A Romantical Getaway

If you are planning a private getaway with your special one, consider an overnight at a local bed and breakfast.  You will find interesting accommodations and a great deal of pampering when you stay in any one of the wonderful romantic getaways scattered across Bucks and Montgomery Counties.  Click here for listings of Bed and Breakfasts across the state of Pennsylvania!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our customers create the most clever things!

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What do you do when you walk into an Impact Thrift Store looking for a book shelf, but you fall in love with a coffee table?!

This could be a problem.

A coffee table does not serve the same purpose as a book shelf.  Yes, you could stack a few books on it… but, for the most part, not the same.  Plus, a coffee table is meant to take up space in front of your couch, something you may not have. Or maybe that space is already filled with a great table. All in all, not the same!coffee table cut in half

But if you are an Impact Thrift shopper, you might look at that coffee table differently. You might walk through the store imagining what that coffee table could be rather than what you see.  And if furniture happens to be on sale, wow… you’ve found a bargain.

That’s what Caroline D. saw as she shopped our Montgomeryville store.  She came across a coffee table with wonderful carved, solid wood legs, interesting brass decorative drawer pulls and a strong, sound structure… and a lightbulb went on!

What if you cut it in half?  Stack the two halves against a wall and…finished project

Voila!  

Book shelves!

Think about it… a coffee table is meant to be viewed from all sides.  The front and back of the table are usually similar, if not the same.  So, why not!

Here’s how:
1.
Measure the width of the table in a number of places and mark the center. Draw a line down the center. Use pen if you plan to paint the finished shelves or chalk if you plan to retain the existing finish.

2. Using a circular saw, carefully saw through all layers of table on the straight line.

3. Add wood to the back of the table for strength and stability. Measure the opening created on the cut edge of the table. Cut and mount a piece of 1″ x 4″ (or any size wood that will work for you) to fill in that space on each side of the table for added strength. This will also be used to mount each table half to the wall. Depending upon the structure of your table, you may choose to reinforce it differently.

4. Prime and paint if you wish.

5. Lean one of the table halves level against the wall and screw through the added piece of wood (Step 3) into beams in your wall in two places. This can be accomplished by hanging strong picture hangers on the back cut edge of the table as well.

6. Stack the second half of the table above the first and mount on the wall in the same manner.

Are you working on a great re-purposing project? Something out of the ordinary or unusual?  We’d love to share your progress and photos with everyone!

Take a few moments before you begin to take a few “before photos”, snap a few as your work on your project and once it is complete.  What was your inspiration?  What did you see in the piece that you purchased?  What were the steps you took to complete the project? Then e-mail us with those photos and a short explanation of the project and we’ll share through our blog and Facebook!

Making Progress… Slowly but surely!

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UPDATE: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our sign is going up… up… up…  Starting to look more and more like an Impact Thrift Store!

preparing the facade

cropped Feasterville front with partial sign

YEAH!

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UPDATE: Thursday, March 15, 2012

HUGE progress this week as fixtures are starting to fill the interior of the store and the front entryway is taking shape!  YEAH!

huge rug racks installed in Feasterville

Huge rug racks installed in Feasterville store

Walls of book shelving

The “Aisle of Knowledge”…

Red roof and front walk taking shape

The beginnings of our red roof!

 

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UPDATE: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grading and preparing the front entry for concrete!!!!

front entry way taking shape - Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville

Grading the exterior in preparation for concrete! Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville

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UPDATE: Monday, March 5, 2012

Now we’re getting somewhere! Placing the jewelry and cash/wrap, putting together clothing racks and Bric-a-Brac shelving.

view of the front entrance and cash wrap-jewelry cases Impact Thrift Stores Feastervillefrom the entrance - cash wrap/jewelry counters Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville

Assembling clothing racks - Impact Thrift Stores FeastervillePaul and Matt assembling clothing racks - Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville

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UPDATE: Tuesday, February 28, 2012!

Store Manager, Ron, cleaning the floors before painting them (is that a Zamboni?) Exterior work on our front door and facade in the sunshine!  It’s always sunny in Feasterville!

Ron Smith at Impact Thrift Store FeastervilleThe sun is shining on Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville

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UPDATE:  Friday, February 24, 2012!

Cleaning, preparing the floors and painting!  (plus delicious lunch at Five Guys and riding the lift! beeep beeep…)

Tamika cleaning slatwall at Feasterville Impact Thrift Stores

Jill cleaning slatwall with Jo on the lift behind her at Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville

 

 

 

Feasterville Impact Thrift Store - There is work to be done!

View from the edge of Impact Thrift Store Feasterville

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UPDATE: Wednesday, February 22, 2012!

A little exterior progress…Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville facade progress

A little interior progress… walls painted and decorative stripes started…

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UPDATE: Friday, February 3, 2012!

We are starting to paint the floor on the interior of the building and the builders are making progress on the facade!  Check it out:

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January 23, 2012

Slowly but surely we’re making progress towards the opening of our 4th Impact Thrift Store at Street Road and Bustleton Pike in Feasterville, Pa!  Construction continues inside and out, behind the scenes wiring, resurfacing the floor, creating an entrance/exit and constructing a welcoming facade… red roof and all!