Located on a busy Greencastle street, an average strip mall holds a not-so-average store. On any given day of the week, customers can be seen going in and out of the store with animal print bags. An eclectic thrift store, Rescued Treasures, helps fund the Putnam County Animal Shelter.
President of the Humane Society, Regina Barcus, has lived in Greencastle for 32 years. Now retired, Barcus spends her time with her grandchildren and working at Rescued Treasures.
“Every nonprofit needs an income stream to survive. Rescued Treasures was to provide that funding. The first thrift store was located downtown in a very small store space,” Barcus said.
According to Barucs, a large retail space became available near the fairgrounds. Out of a love for animals, the owner gave the Humane Society the space for almost no rent. Rescued Treasures would continue to thrive in the space until the property was sold. At that time, the property that now holds Rescued Treasures was rented out.
Barcus said both the Humane Society and the county help support the shelter. The county helps clean the kennels, feed the animals, and walk the dogs. The county also provides a vet tech for the medical needs of the animals. The Humane Society, through Rescued Treasures, provides integral funding for the shelter.
“The Humane Society has committed to $50,000 a year being contributed to the operation of the shelter. We have also paid for capital improvements to the site. The Humane Society employs someone to handle adoptions and foster families as well as special events,” Barcus said.
In addition, the Humane Society employs dog walkers to make sure the animals get as much time as possible out of their kennels.
“The proceeds from this little thrift store cover all these expenses,” Barcus said.
Barcus enjoys volunteering at the thrift store knowing the impact it has on the shelter and the animals. Particularly, Barcus knows the impact funding makes in supporting animals like hers, Sadie.
“She was picked up as a stray by Animal Control. I imagine if she hadn't been taken off the streets, she would have been hit by a car. Before we adopted her, she was spayed, had a hernia repaired, and was treated for heartworm. Every animal in the shelter gets that level of care,” Barcus said.
As a volunteer now for five years, Barcus says the volunteers range from eighth graders to 92- year-olds. Integral to Rescued Treasures, DePauw has connected students with the thrift store.
Deyuan Yang is a junior at DePauw and the service coordinator for the Rescued Treasures program through DePauw. Rescued Treasures, an integral part of connecting students with their community, “reminds students that the world needs them,” according to Yang.
“As we know, Rescued Treasures is a thrift store and the portion of profits go to support local animal shelters. It collects the donations every day and arranges them to sell and people there are all volunteers,” Yang said.
By spending time volunteering at the store, students indirectly help the Humane Society in the local Greencastle community. In the future, Yang hopes that more students will become involved in the Rescued Treasures volunteer program.
“I'd like to see that we really achieve our goal that we can save many animals and help others. Rescued Treasures is also a great store and some promotion of it is necessary to let more people come to buy something or make donations. Overall, it's a great service site and worth more people knowing about it,” Yang said.
First-year Amzie Maienbrook is a regular volunteer for Rescued Treasures. As a thrifter herself, Maienbrook found the organization to be an amazing opportunity to give back to Greencastle by doing what she loves.
“I volunteer with Rescued Treasures for many reasons. I stand by their purpose of providing funding for the Humane Society, which is something that communities notoriously have a hard time funding, but even more than that, I love how much the other people who volunteer there support and care about their mission as well,” Maienbrook said.
Maienbrook especially values thrifting as it provides people with cheaper and sustainable alternatives.
“My favorite part of volunteering at Rescued Treasures is getting to know the Greencastle community through other volunteers and customers. I really enjoy getting off campus, forgetting about my classes, and dedicating myself to something larger than myself through simple tasks that they need help with,” Maienbrook said.