I have never written a letter to the editor before, but on the occasion of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want to share my experience at The Retreat Boutique.
This unique charity store exists because of our generous community and is a vital source of treasures and discoveries. The proceeds support The Retreat’s free services and shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Many of your readers know that, due to the stress and restraints of COVID-19, domestic violence is alarmingly on the rise. With the hard work of our tireless staff, management and board of directors, we have been able to keep The Retreat in full force during the stay-at-home restrictions.
Unfortunately, on March 16, our charity store had to close for the first time in 11 years and entered the world of online selling — a learning curve for me. Those who have visited our store will agree that nothing can replace the camaraderie and excitement of finding high-end, curated bargains in person.
Thankfully, this June, we reopened by providing safety measures, which our customers and donors have embraced.
Now comes the interesting part.
You may not know that The Retreat Boutique is a source of wardrobe and props for stylists, performing theater groups and film productions. We often have gatherings for creative projects featuring local artists. Local retailers and high-profile consignment groups donate regularly to us, as well as celebrities whom you may see shopping!
Importantly, residents of our shelter, who often leave their abusers with just the clothes on their backs, are able to choose what they need, free of charge. And when they move to permanent safe housing, we are their primary source of housewares and furniture.
The Retreat Boutique offers many opportunities to give back to the community. Many of our shoppers have become donors, and our clients and shoppers have become volunteers.
I am proud to say that I have met my closest friends as a result of working at the store.
The Retreat Boutique is constantly changing, fascinating and alive. I thank all the people who are already a part of our store community. You are making our communities stronger by working together.
To learn more about volunteering, donating and shopping, call 631-537-3845, or stop by in person Wednesday through Monday.
A warm greeting awaits you!
The Retreat Boutique
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One fine body…