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2018 Progress Edition

Trinkets & Togs – More than just a Thrift Store

There is more than meets the eye with Trinkets & Togs Thrift Store. Tucked in Waverly’s Collegetowne Plaza since the mid-90’s, the thrift store began as part of The Larrabee Center’s mission and has come to be known as the definition of community.

At first glance, Trinkets & Togs’ storefront gives the impression of a small store but when you come in the doors, you find over 8,000 square feet of premier thrift store shopping. You’ll find everything from clothing for the family and home décor to furniture and antiques. The quality and variety of the donations to the store makes every experience unique. Many customers enjoy simply perusing the aisles to find hidden treasures. Sheila, retail associate, says, “What’s great about our store is people come in here every day. It’s just one of their stops. They go out for coffee, they go out for lunch, and they go to Trinkets and Togs and walk around. It’s not necessarily that they need anything, they just come to visit – we love to see them. It’s like having coffee with a friend.” And Trinkets & Togs has many regular shoppers, not just because of the great deals but because they know they are supporting something bigger.

Trinkets & Togs is proud to serve the community in a variety of ways and is so grateful for the continued support from donors and shoppers as we work to further the mission of The Larrabee Center. We continue to be humbled by the generosity of our donors. Last year, the thrift store averaged around 70 donors per day. Some community members donate regularly, bringing a bag or two each week, while others donate less often, bring trunk loads to truckloads. And it never ceases to amaze us the quality of the donations we are receiving. From name-brand clothing to beautiful furniture pieces to unique and valuable antiques. And while the main purpose of donating goods to a thrift store is to keep items out of the landfill, we recognize that the donations we receive from Waverly residents and surrounding communities are donated with purpose and intent to support our mission.

When community members donate and shop at Trinkets & Togs, they are supporting inclusion and employment for people with disabilities. Last year alone, Trinkets & Togs had over 19,000 hours of paid labor to individuals with disabilities living in Bremer and Butler County. Through paid, on-the-job training, individuals are building their confidence and overcoming barriers to being employed in meaningful careers. Individuals with and without disabilities work alongside each other to process donations and over 1,200 like-new items are put on the floor each day. Clients work closely with job coaches to learn work skills and improve their overall employability. The Larrabee Center provides job coaches, and when clients are ready, job development services to help match individuals to jobs in their community. Most recently, individuals have gained employment at local businesses such as Wartburg College, Kwik Star, and Sasquatch Jacks. Trinkets & Togs continues to provide an invaluable opportunity for individuals with disabilities who want to earn money and be a valued part of their community.

Trinkets & Togs is proud to have made some wonderful improvements in the past year as well. Through the donations and grants from the Bremer County Community Foundation and Waverly Fund, CUNA Mutual Foundation and the Marvin and Helen Schumacher Family Fund, two of three sections of the sales floor now have new carpet. This project improved the overall look of the store and encouraged rearranging of racks and displays to better serve our customers. We also received support from the Waverly Chamber of Commerce Façade Improvement Grant for new signage on the rear of our building for both the donation area and Employment Support Services entrance. We are truly grateful for the support of both our private donors and local foundations. Together, we are making a difference in our community and in the lives of the individuals we serve.

One of our loyal customers recently made the comment that Trinkets & Togs is community – community at its best. And we are honored to be part of a community that values people of all abilities and strives for inclusion in the workplace and all aspects of community living.

Article published in Waverly Newspapers Progress Edition Part One: 2018, February 27, 2018