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Recycled Treasures seeking donations

justine wettschreck/Daily Globe Ruth McCready, manager of Recycled Treasures, said donations for the organization have not rebounded this spring as they usually do after winter.

WORTHINGTON -- Recycled Treasures manager Ruth McCready is hoping people will think of the Worthington store when they start their spring cleaning.

According to McCready, donated items generally decline in the winter, but so far this year things haven't picked up.

"Donations are almost non-existent right now," she explained. "We're usually hanging clothes for three hours a day, but now we have everything out of storage."

As long as the store remains open, McCready joked, she's taking.

"I don't know the word 'full,'" she added.

The money raised from selling donated items goes to Specialized Vocational Services, which provides jobs for people with disabilities. Customer usage of the store has continued to rise, with the store selling $50,000 in merchandise in 2010.

"Sales are increasing, but people are hanging onto their things," McCready stated. "I think some just don't know we're here."

Recycled Treasures can accept a wide variety of items, although there are a few things it doesn't normally take, such as TVs, computers or microwaves. If a donator is willing to leave a name and phone number, however, Recycled Treasures will try to sell it.

"If we can't, then we would want the person to take it back," McCready said.

The store can take estates, but arrangements need to be made for transporting furniture and larger items.

There is a furniture gallery that will open in the future, but it isn't quite ready for the public.

"I can open it by appointment only or on an on-call basis if I have someone here," McCready explained.

She said she has almost a dozen metal desks and various other furniture in the gallery. There are also boxes of books.

She can't sell mattresses, but bedding is a big seller, along with clothing and shoes.

"And I could sell two kitchen table sets a day if I had them," she laughed.

With the recent rise in bedbugs, an exterminating service comes by regularly to check for bugs, roaches and any other invading pests.

Recycled Treasures is open to accept donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, staying open until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. The sale of merchandise doesn't start until 10 a.m. during the week. On Saturdays, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"If you have a rummage sale going on and can't be here until after 2 p.m., call and let me know," McCready said. "I can usually stay to take the donation."

She asks that items not be left outside the door -- something that happens frequently -- because the items get rained on or taken, or get blown around and make a mess.

Receipts for taxes can be given to donators, McCready said, but she asks that the items be "gently used," not trash.

Although the merchandise tends to change as things are donated, Recycled Treasures currently has clothing, hats, shoes and baby supplies, but also has kitchen items such as dishes, utensils and glassware.

Other shelves hold toys and games, lamps, books, decorative items, rugs, luggage and jewelry, along with craft supplies such as fabric squares, yarn and sewing tools.

The store is located on the corner of 10th Street and Fourth Avenue in downtown Worthington. McCready can be contacted at (507) 343-3795.