Bob and Linda Snyder, owners of Catawba Mini Storage in Port Clinton, Ohio, this week awarded 45 grants totaling $155,000 to local nonprofits using funds collected from their community thrift store, Portage Resale Center (PRC). The recipients included advocacy and counseling groups, child-abuse prevention centers, church programs, food pantries, public libraries, school-community programs, and other organizations, according to the source.
Portage Resale Center collects donations of books, clothing, furniture and household items. Some are given directly to families in need while others are sold in the store. To date, the center has gifted $594,000 to various agencies in Ottawa County, the source reported.
The Snyders established the thrift store in 2011, raising $22,000 that year for local charity programs. “When we began, we had four classrooms at the old Portage Elementary School, and what we believed was a great idea to provide funding for many deserving nonprofit groups in the community,” Bob Snyder said.
The store moved to the Heineman Building at 301 W. Second St. a year later. “The building was gifted to us by Mary Heineman after the death of her husband, Harry, in 2011. We developed it into a wonderful place to shop for gently used items with prices people can more easily afford,” Bob Snyder said.
PRC is managed by three full-time employees as well as volunteers. It contains a food pantry and offers pickup for donations of heavy items such as furniture. The organization is directed by a 10-member board, with six determining which grants will be awarded from the dozens of applicants the center receives each October.
Board member Heather Stouffer attributes the thrift store’s success to the community. “All of our volunteers, our shoppers and our donors are the fuel that makes us a success,” she said. “The Portage Resale Center is the vehicle, and the charity organizations are the drivers.”
Stouffer also helped create the Portage Resale Center Youth Council, which includes 10 students from five Ottawa County high schools. The students visit two nonprofits in the community monthly.
“These kids were blown away by the need that they saw around the county, and [they] started a drive that raised $4,000 for United Way,” Bob Snyder said. “They also began a clothing drive in the schools, gathering clean, age-appropriate clothes to be sold at Portage Resale Center.”
Catawba Mini Storage at 4789 E. Muggy Road offers more than 100,000 square feet of climate-controlled and drive-up storage units, vehicle storage, and large units for commercial use. The business was established more than 20 years ago, according to its website.
The Beacon, Portage Resale Center Sets Record, Awards 45 Grants Totaling $155,000