Wheeling YWCA’s ‘Y Not Repeat Boutique’ reopens to the community | News, Sports, Jobs

picture by: Shelley Hanson

Y Not Repeat Boutique volunteer Anne Thompson holds up a dress for sale Friday in the Wheeling YWCA boutique. The store has reopened to the public. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday and Friday.

The Y Not Repeat store at Wheeling YWCA has reopened to the public after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The store made the announcement Friday morning on its social media page. It will now be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Previously, the shop was open by appointment only, but now no appointment is necessary.

Heather Lapp, Wheeling YWCA’s strategic director, said the store offers all types of clothing, shoes and accessories at hugely discounted prices. Most items are $2 or less.

Funds raised from shop sales are reinvested into the YWCA’s mission – to help equip women living in their domestic violence emergency shelter as well as women in need of clothing for work.

“Most women don’t have anything, so we try to equip them with a wardrobe as well,” she said. “Whether

they have a job interview, we also have clothes for that.

The YWCA’s “Dress for Success” program provides women with the outfits they need for work and job interviews. A referral from a social service agency, church, employer, school, or United Way Helpline is required to receive free items.

And depending on the job itself, a woman might need steel-toed boots, nurse’s gowns or uniforms, or a pantsuit.

“If they get a job at Ziegenfelders, they’ll need sweatshirts,” she said, referring to the Wheeling popsicle factory.

The Women’s Y relies on donations to fill its store and support the Dress for Success program. Donations can be dropped off at the YWCA, located at 1100 Chapline St., Wheeling, during regular business hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We also take household items. When a woman moves into transitional housing, we make sure she has pots and pans, dishes and silverware,” Lapp said.

The store is run by volunteers. To learn more about volunteering there, call the Y at 304-232-0511.

Volunteers Anne Thompson and Elissa Gross, both of Wheeling, were working at the store Friday. They noted that more volunteers are needed now that the store has reopened to the community. Both noted that it’s rewarding work because you’re helping women in need.

Thompson said working in the boutique helps her miss her old job as a corporate buyer a little less. She worked for Stone & Thomas in Wheeling. When Stone closed her doors, she worked for Proffitt’s in Tennessee until her retirement. Proffitt’s was eventually acquired by Belk.

“I love it,” Thompson said of volunteering at the store. “It makes you feel good.”

Thompson said it’s especially rewarding to help needy women who live at the shelter. Some are so overwhelmed with getting the items they need and receiving help that they start crying, she said.

Gross said she enjoys boosting the self-esteem of women who are going through tough times.

The store only uses lightly used items. Leftover items are often donated to other thrift stores in the area.

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