Having fully acclimated myself with the Clark Community Thrift Store (CCTS) during the past month, I am transitioning into a more active role as the store’s community outreach intern. One step I took in this process was to approach local businesses on behalf of the CCTS. In talking with the managers and owners of establishments ranging from restaurants to convenience stores, I gained a better understanding of local commerce and tested the waters for future partnerships within the community. While performing my Main South walkabout, I not only met a number of fantastic community members, but also a lot of rain.
One particularly remarkable stop I made was at the nearby coffee shop Acoustic Java. There I met David Fullerton, the shop’s general manager, and had a great conversation regarding the vast potential David sees in the CCTS. In speaking with David, I was struck by his willingness to provide honest insights and suggestions about running a business in the Main South community. Moreover, we discussed the importance of making the CCTS into more than just a good thrift shop by expanding what it offers to the surrounding community. Ideas ranged from showcasing local artists to hosting musicians.
With all that has happened I find it very fitting that last week’s work coincided with rain. I say this because water is a catalyst of change and growth, elements which are permeating my personal LEEP journey, the Clark Community Thrift Store, and the surrounding community this very moment. By following the CCTS’s mission of “working toward a more sustainable and connected community”, I am confident that my efforts will produce a foundation for sustained change and growth that will continue long after my LEEP project with the thrift store is done.