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Crash repairs complete, St. Vincent de Paul’s Burien thrift store reopens

Employees at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Burien welcome customers back to the store. It was closed more than two months after a car crashed inside the building. Photo: Courtesy St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County Employees at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Burien welcome customers back to the store. It was closed more than two months after a car crashed inside the building. Photo: Courtesy St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County

BURIEN – After being closed more than two months after a car crashed into the building, the Burien St. Vincent de Paul thrift store has reopened.

The response of the community was “resounding” when the doors reopened February 1, said Jim McFarland, communications director for St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County. The parking lot was full and the store brought in $6,000 worth of sales.

“Sometimes you don’t know your value until a crisis,” he said.

Shoppers received a 50 percent discount that day and a discount coupon if they return to shop at the store through February.

The store was closed November 26 after a vehicle crashed through a large garage door on the north side of the building. The driver was at the store to pick up a mattress and bedframe.

One employee suffered a broken arm and leg; she is doing well but hasn’t been cleared to return to work, McFarland said. A manager who was pregnant and narrowly missed getting hit has since given birth to a daughter, he said.

Burien SVDP StoreAfter this car crashed into the Burien St. Vincent de Paul in November 2018, the store was closed for more than two months while repairs were made. Photo: Courtesy St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County

A week after the grand reopening, the store was closed for a couple of days due to snow, but opened again February 12.

Thrift store sales are one of the primary sources of income for St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County, McFarland said. In 2017, the five thrift stores — located in Seattle, Burien, Kenmore, Kent and Renton — brought in $3.78 million, according the organization’s website.

The Burien store has “really been an anchor location for us,” McFarland said. But the closure for repairs didn’t result in any reduction to St. Vincent de Paul services, he said.

People contact St. Vincent de Paul when they are in danger of eviction, are at risk of having their utilities disconnected, are hungry or have other basic needs. Much of the work is completed through in-home visits, where volunteers can better assess a family’s needs.

According to the website, nearly 47,000 people received assistance in 2017 and more than 4,000 people got help from the food bank in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood.

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