MAGIC VALLEY — When a popular thrift store in Buhl shut down two years ago after 20 years in business, the president of Buhl Family Network Inc., decided to make it her mission to bring that back to the community.
"I began to talk to people in the community about what they wanted. Regardless whether they were rich, poor or of their race, age, income, every one of them said they wanted to see the thrift store reopen," Priscilla Martens, present of Buhl Family Network Inc., said.
After retiring last year, Martens decided she wanted to do something for her community. She went forward with the process of opening a thrift store in the exact location where Idaho Youth Ranch was previously located for 20 years. She also decided to use 100% of the profits made from the thrift store to help families in Buhl.
"I believe it was something that drew our community together, and that's our plan to use the thrift store to bring the community together and to help families," Martens said.
The thrift store will also give people with disabilities, teens, and others who have limited work opportunities, a chance at gaining work experience.
"We received a small grant from the Idaho state office of drug policy, and we are going to have four teenagers getting work experience in the summer months, and we're looking for teens whose families have been involved with substance use. We want to create a positive environment for them and prevent them from going into substance use," Martens said.
Although she did not anticipate opening a store in the middle of a pandemic, Martens said she's happy to be able to help the community.
"Our motto is faith, family, and friendship. That is what we want to be known for, and that is what we want to represent in this community," Martens said.