Wendy Schreiner has made some changes to the Lake Mills St. Vincent de Paul Society store since she took over as director in February 2016.
In addition to modernizing the look of the inside of the store, Schreiner and St. Vinnie’s have now changed the drop-off location at the store in order to help staff and volunteers organize the store more efficiently.
The new donation door at St. Vinnie’s (720 E. Lake St.) is now located in the rear of the building. Donations used to be received in the front of the building at the entrance to the store. There are signs located on the outside of the building showing those making donations where they need to go to do so.
Schreiner said the new donation door makes the process of going through items and getting them out on the floor of the store to sell that much easier. The processing centers for any item that comes through St. Vinnie’s doors are located in the rear of the building.
“The donation door has been up in front for years and people are having a hard time understanding why we’re doing this – it’s for efficiency,” Schreiner said.
St. Vinnie’s has also added new drop-off bins at Lake Mills Sentry and Lake Mills Market and in Cambridge, Deerfield and Johnson Creek. The Cambridge location is the Cambridge Area Resource Team at 223 Jefferson St., while the Johnson Creek location is at St. Mary Magdalene Church, located at 242 Williams St. The Deerfield drop-off bin is currently at the Pickle Tree, but that will be moving soon – where that new location will be is unknown.
Schreiner stressed the donations people place in the drop-off bins be small ones, such as clothes shoes, books and small unbreakables. The larger items place in drop-off boxes could ruin other items in the boxes or could take up too much space.
She asks for people making donations to drop-off larger items at the store.
St. Vinnie’s staff members wanted to make sure those making donations understood what was accepted by the store and what wasn’t.
What is accepted by St. Vinnie’s are:
• Household items.
What is not accepted by St. Vinnie’s are:
• Items that are stained, ripped, over-worn or broken.
• Mattresses and box springs.
• Televisions, computers and printers.
• Sofa sleepers or entertainment centers.
• Baby items, including car seats, cribs and walkers.
• Construction materials and hazardous items.
• Prohibitively large or heavy items that are difficult to handle safely.
“What we appreciate the most are the used, clean, sellable items,” Schreiner said. “I don’t want to sound picky, but what happens a lot is people drop-off their trash with us. The TVs alone cost us $40 apiece to dispose of. It costs us a lot of money to dispose of the items we can’t sell out on the floor.”
Volunteer Pam Rguig expanded on Schreiner’s thoughts.
“If (people) could volunteer their services by washing the items and organizing them before they bring them in – that’s a form of volunteering that helps the community,” Rguig said. “When we get that type of merchandise, we can get it out on the floor really quickly for the community to purchase.”
Schreiner also thanked Lake Mills and the surrounding communities for its generosity.
St. Vinnie’s has collected more than $300,000 in donations in the last two fiscal years, all due to the kindness of the community.
“That’s a number that we’re really proud of. The people who drop-off these donations – we’re really proud of that too,” Schreiner said. “They’re the ones who support this mission with their drop-offs.”