Kelly J. Meister: A thrifty challenge for Havasu

April 20, 2019 GMT

Editor: Lake Havasu City calls itself “The most Patriotic City.” I’m offering a challenge to the citizens of Lake Havasu to prove their Patriotism. The Veteran’s Thrift Store needs your help.

The Veteran’s Thrift isn’t your normal thrift store. We were established in 2014 as a non-profit thrift store with the purpose of helping veterans and veteran organizations (both state and local) with medical supplies, furniture, other household items, and financial assistance. Our staff are all volunteers with all profits going back to the veteran community.

Since 2014, we have grown into three stores. The main store is located at 2099 Acoma Blvd behind the White Sheet. We also have a store in Seligman, which helps veterans in need outside the Prescott area.

Our third and newest location is in Desert Hills at 2130 Price Road. We have a four-prong challenge to the city of Lake Havasu. First, in April we lose many of our volunteers who are snowbirds. From May to September we are shorthanded. We need volunteers who are willing to help us on Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We would appreciate any volunteer hours worked.

Second, we need a person who knows how to write grants. We have been having a problem with our grant writing and we are screaming for help.

Third, our Price Road location is an 8,000 square foot building that was donated to us. The owners of the old Truss Building donated this big building to The Veterans Thrift for the purpose of expanding our “giving” efforts. With the Price Road building we will be able to sell and store big items like furniture, appliances, etc. However, one of the most important functions of the Price Road building is to house the Department of Defense retired military surplus that is mandated by the State for the homeless veterans only. Although the Price Road building was donated to us, we must pay $10,000 a year rent to the state for the land that the building sits on. The building needs several renovations and we are still working with the county to bring it up to code. We have had many hard­ working volunteers devote their time and talent working inside and outside to move this project forward. We are still in need of volunteers in the construction area. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Fourth and finally, we need money. We belong to the Veterans Resource Team (VRT) which is a group of veteran organizations that meet once a month at the courthouse to help veterans in need. This group gives Veterans a “hand up” not a “handout.” Our part is to supply veterans with furniture, household items, clothing, and some financial assistance. Due to the renovation at our Price Road location we are behind on our “giving efforts.”

If you or your organization can help The Veteran’s Thrift Store call Roberta Arreola or me, Kelly Meister, at 928-680-4357 or stop by the store at 2099 Acoma Blvd (behind the White Sheet).

Kelly J. Meister

Lake Havasu City