Friends of Lincoln County Animals (FOLCAS) has been looking for the past year for a new permanent location for its Pick of the Litter Thrift Store. As a result, FOLCAS recently purchased the Seventh-day Adventist Church property at NE First and Fogarty in Newport as our new home. Additions to the buildings at the new site will be necessary in order to accommodate further growth. FOLCAS will launch a fundraising effort in the near future to help us in that endeavor.
FOLCAS vice president of operations Brenda Pope said “Ultimately, having our own thrift store facilities will not only provide the additional processing and retail space we need in order to continue to grow, but at a lower cost.” She notes that the new space will also provide an enhanced working environment for the volunteers on whom the store’s success has always depended, and it will give FOLCAS the certainty it needs in order to plan for many more years of continued service to Lincoln County’s animals.
Pick of the Litter plans to continue to use the building at the county fairgrounds (County Commons) for as long as that arrangement may continue to make good business sense for both FOLCAS and the County.
Since its founding in May 2009, when the Lincoln County Animal Shelter was threatened with closure as the result of the national economic crisis, FOLCAS has raised and spent close to half a million dollars on services for shelter animals and other domesticated animals in the county. Thanks to its tireless volunteers, loyal shoppers, and generous donors, the Pick of the Litter has been the primary source of the money for these programs, supplemented by FOLCAS’s Fabulous Pets of Lincoln County calendar project and by donations from local businesses and individuals.
FOLCAS spent more than $98,000 on animal program services last year and more than $109,000 this year, and has budgeted a similar increase for the coming fiscal year.
In addition, FOLCAS provides direct support for people in need in our community through distribution of surplus thrift store goods in collaboration with social service agencies, churches, and nonprofit groups throughout Lincoln County.
FOLCAS board president Emily DeHuff emphasizes, “We are grateful to the County for offering us the use of the Floral Building at the fairgrounds for a thrift store back in 2009. The very modest rent they have charged all these years has been, in effect, a very big help for the animal services we have been able to provide, including our substantial grant to the Central Coast Humane Society for spaying and neutering local pets. Back then, who could have guessed how successful the Pick of the Litter would become, and how much it would enable us to spend for the benefit of local animals?”
For now, business continues as usual at Pick of the Litter at the fairgrounds between Eads and Harney streets, just east of the high school and around the corner from the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. Hours are 10 to 4 Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 on Sunday. Donations are welcomed until 3:30 every day the store is open.
Inventory reduction sales in anticipation of the move to the new location are being held every Saturday through October from 10 to 2 at the Pick of the Litter annex, 730 NE Third Street (across the street from the thrift store, near Harney).
Pick of the Litter remains an almost all-volunteer operation, with the benefit for the last five years of a full-time store manager and more recently a half-time assistant. Additional volunteers will be needed to support the expanded operation. If you have a morning or afternoon you could devote to the mission each week, please stop in at the store and talk to Charlie, the store manager.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church wishes the public to know that services previously available at their Newport church are still available through their Waldport (1506 NW Pacific Coast Hwy) and Lincoln City (2335 NE 22nd St) churches.
For more information about FOLCAS’s support for our community’s animals, visit www.folcas.com.