Basalt thrift store to open for a cause | AspenTimes.com
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Basalt thrift store to open for a cause

Katharine Weiss
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Julia Partt wants to show kids that food can be found in something other than a plastic wrapper.

Partt and several other people are launching a Basalt thrift store in which all the proceeds go toward creating greenhouses for schools within the Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale and Woody Creek communities.

“We want to attach greenhouses and have them be used as a resource tool to learn about agriculture,” said Partt, who is executive director of the Basalt Thrift Store, located at 180 South Side Dr. The store’s grand opening is slated for Saturday. “We’re trying get children involved with the process of agriculture, from seed to table.”

Partt said that she and several other mothers have been concerned that their children aren’t exposed enough to naturally grown food.

“There is a group I work with, all mothers, and we all have great kids and we all feel like lots of problems with kids have to do with nutritional deprivation and feeling like they have no clue around home-grown food,” she said. “We got to talking as an organization and we feel it is important that children start understanding nutrition.”

Partt said the nonprofit’s goal is raise money for greenhouses, but the store also will help any cause or person.

“We are not exclusive,” she said. “We donate once a month to youth betterment. We will not turn anyone away. Once a month we have a free day and anyone can come and get whatever they need. If you let us know that you are destitute in some kind of way, then we take care of you.”

While the store does not officially open until Saturday, Partt said the community already has embraced their efforts. So far, some 50,000 in donations have come in, she said.

“The community is stepping up fabulously as far as donations and buying,” Partt said. “When we needed a washer and dryer, we got it. When we needed a truck, we got it. It is wonderful to see how the community works.”

With 200-foot ceilings and 2,800 square feet of storage, the store is open to all types of donations.

“We have had doors that were donated,” Partt said. “We have had everything from designer furniture to toys.”

Partt said that some of the more memorable donations include a 1900s barber’s chair and a glass-blown waterfall.

“What we are representing is not your average junk store,” Partt said. “Things are of an excellent nature and the presentation is in a way that makes the items worth rebuying.”

Partt said that along with having the proceeds benefit the children, she also wants children to play a part in the store as well.

“We wanted to provide a craft area for the children to give them something to do,” she said. “People have donated beads from all around the world and it would be great for kids to come work on the beads and the mirrors we have.”

The thrift store even has young volunteers, including 14-year-old Sabre Raselson, who plans to work at the store this summer.

“It is all going toward a good cause and toward our youth,” said Raselson. “I personally think it’s great and the money is used to go to the Aspen Community School, which is where I went and where the next greenhouse is being built. I only wish it had already been built when I was there.”

Raselson spends her days at the store organizing clothes, putting items on display and exploring the variety of “treasures” that have been donated.

“We found a really weird can opener,” said Raselson. “It was pretty ancient and you mount it on the wall and you put the can in and crush it. We also found this weird widget and we still haven’t found what it is used for.”

Partt says that the overall goal of the store is to bring something advantageous to the public for an affordable price.

“We want to know that the things we bring in can be given new life and put out in a way that is desirable to the public and be brought back to people at a reasonable dollar.”


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