Christ Child Society’s new Fairview Park Showcase Resale Shop blessed by bishop

2022-07-02 00:05:35 By : Ms. Tracy Zhang

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

After months of preparation and planning, the Christ Child Society of Cleveland opened its new Fairview Park Showcase Resale Shop this spring at 20470 Lorain Road. It joins the Lakewood Showcase Resale Shop, 15404 Madison Ave., which was established in 1980.

Bishop Edward Malesic visited the Fairview Park shop on June 3 to bless it and wish success to the volunteers who run the operation.

“You are doing so much good helping women and children,” he told the group who gathered in the shop for the brief service. “The Christ Child Society does great things.”

He reminded the group that Jesus came to earth as a child, dispensing with his heavenly existence to live among his people. “He requires us to care for others,” he said, explaining we are obliged to do this because we all are made in the image and likeness of Jesus. “And this shop is doing that.”

By helping others, we give more than we receive, the bishop said. “When you give something away, you receive much more. This is a blessing for the diocese,” he said, scanning the shop. “What parent doesn’t want the best for their child? We are loving people of faith and humanity and want the best for all.”

Bishop Malesic recalled the words of Mary Virginia Merrick, who founded the Christ Child Society in 1887: “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child.”

The Cleveland chapter, the fifth in the country, was established in 1916 by Mabel Higgins Mattingly, a friend of Merrick. Mattingly organized a layette program to aid mothers and babies. She also served as the new group’s first president. The layette program remains one of the group’s ministries. The group’s motto is, “Where love leads to action.”

“This is important work, caring for the most vulnerable among us,” the bishop added.

After offering a blessing and touring the shop, he spent time visiting with volunteers and posing for photos.

Kathy Cole, Showcase chairman, oversees operations of both the Fairview Park and Lakewood shops. Her duties include training and supervising the volunteer managers who operate the shops, overseeing operations and purchasing supplies.

“We have so many awesome (Christ Child Society) volunteers,” Cole said, adding they are integral to the success of both stores. Assisting them are member of the newly organized Junior Christ Child, most of whom are students at the nearby Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood.

Cole said for many years, the Fairview Park building was a resale shop for another nonprofit organization. When that group decided last year to close its operation and move in a different direction, the Christ Child Society began talking about adding a second shop there. They signed a lease in December 2021 and opened the new shop on April 2.

Some shelving and other items were left behind and donated by the previous tenant, as well as some startup merchandise, Cole said.

The building is just west of PJ’s Day Spa. It is owned by Peter Holick who also owns and operates the spa. Many years ago, a butcher shop (Tate’s) and neighborhood grocery store (Baumgardner’s) operated in the building. The Baumgardner family lived in the attached house behind stores.

Holick arranged for renovations in the building, including painting and installing new flooring. Cole and her husband, Tom, who are members of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Parma, helped with renovations. She said he helped install lighting fixtures, shelving, built a sorting center for donation, hung racks and many did many other repairs.

The basement is filled with large hanging racks of neatly organized clothing for men, women and children that is sorted by size and season. There are shelves of seasonal merchandise, including Christmas, Easter and Halloween decorations.

The main floor contains two large showrooms. The east room is filled with carefully organized displays of women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and some free items, including faith-related books that were donated and sit in a red wagon next to the counter. The red wagon is a Christ Child signature symbol. The group hosts an annual Red Wagon fundraising event.

The adjacent room features art, wall hangings, housewares, china, glassware, miscellaneous items and jewelry in a display case. Also on the first floor are an office for shop staff/volunteers, a small kitchen, a room (likely the dining room when the Baumgardners lived in the house) used for sorting donations and recycling items not used in the shop and a room that probably was the Baumgardners’ living room. That room is used as meeting space. Boxed sewing machines are stored on a shelf along one wall. Cole said volunteers from Christ Child’s sewing group will use the space to sew blankets for layettes. They will meet on Wednesdays when the shop is closed.

Upstairs, in what formerly were bedrooms, are additional retail spaces. One is full of clothing for infants and children, some quilts, toys and other items. Another room contains men’s clothing and accessories. A third is stocked with additional household items and another contains gift items and knick-knacks.

“Our goal is to make this look like a boutique,” Cole said. “We want to have attractive displays and good pricing to keep the merchandise moving.”

She said business has been very good so far, and she expects it to pick up as they begin offering specials. At the Fairview Park location, Mondays are half-price days, with everything on sale the first Monday of the month. The other Mondays clothing is half-price. At the Lakewood store, everything is half-price on Tuesdays.

The shops will have bag sales in March and September, Cole said. The first day a bag of merchandise is $10. The price drops to $8 the second day and $5 the last half-day. “Then we clear and clean the store and reset merchandise for the next season,” she said. There could be other specials throughout the year, she added.

Donations are welcome at both stores during business hours. “We accept clothing for men, women and children, housewares, art, small furniture, books, games, puzzles and children’s toys,” she said, as well as accessories and jewelry. “Our guidelines are it must be something you’d want to buy,” she said, adding donations should be clean and in good repair. Bedding and towels must be new. They cannot accept stuffed animals, pillows, comforters or other items stuffed with batting, furniture and large items.

Items that cannot be used in the shop are donated to other charities, including Dismas Ministry that helps incarcerated men and those preparing for release; Edna House in Cleveland, a women’s halfway house; Laura’s Home, a residence for single women with young children; Habitat for Humanity; I’m in Ministry, which provides clothing, household items, furniture and appliances to the needy; City Mission and Simple Recycling. Cole’s goal is to ensure that as much merchandise as possible is recycled, reused and renewed.

“When we’ve had a need, someone has donated to us and we are doing the same thing. It all work out,” she said.

All proceeds from the two Showcase Resale Shops benefit Christ Child ministries.

Fairview Park store hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, closed on Wednesday and Sunday. The Lakewood shop is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Both locations are closed on major holidays, Good Friday and Christmas Eve.

Click here for more information on the Christ Child Society of Cleveland.

Subscribe! Sign up to receive news & updates

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Our promise to protect, our pledge to heal.

To report an abuse, please contact local law enforcement and:

Kathleen McComb, Victim Assistance Coordinator

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland © 2022

Subscribe! Sign up to receive news & updates.