I write about country music. Mostly.

Bargains, nice people and a great cause

A window display at The Bargain Nook caught my eye  yesterday as I passed by to attend a business meeting at a nearby coffee shop in downtown Platteville, WI. A few hours later I returned to the shop to check it out.

The Bargain Nook is just my sort of resale shop. There are books, housewares and racks jammed with cute dresses, shorts, tops, skirts — good quality clothing that appears barely- or never-worn. Pieces are arranged by color and theme. I saw a red, white and blue display and I heard one of the clerks tell another customer, “Orange is the color of the season.”  A large Wisconsin online retailer, I found out, routinely donates truckloads of cool stuff.

At the back of the store I found bedding piled neatly in cubbyholes. Our bedspread here at home is shot so I sorted through the odd-lot collection. A king-sized white comforter embroidered with muted blue and red flowers seemed about perfect. “It reminds me of the quilts in my grandmother’s farmhouse,” said Andrea, the store manager. Sold. I was farmhouse when farmhouse wasn’t cool. (Yes, that is a Barbara Mandrell reference.) Another smaller comforter from the window display was just right for a complementary throw.

Andrea and her co-workers, Michelle and Summer, explained to me there are five Bargain Nook stores that operate as ongoing fundraisers for Hodan Community Services. Hodan provides transportation, employment, educational and enrichment services for persons with disabilities, including a dayhab center in Mineral Point, WI.  Besides Platteville, the stores are located in Mineral Point, Darlington, Spring Green and Mount Horeb. They donate 100% of their profits to the operations of Hodan and they also employ persons with disabilities. At the Platteville store, two Hodan clients work part-time to help prepare donations for sales. I told Andrea and the others about our daughter Hope’s disability and the similar program she attends near our home.

“Most people don’t realize how many persons there are that need this type of help,” observed Andrea as she helped me get my haul to the car. She told me about her brother-in-law who has a disability.

I left The Bargain Nook with a strong sense of connection with the organization’s purpose and also with the ladies I met. I also parted with some excellent bargains: two bedspreads, a window valance, a black dress, a blue teapot, two books for Hope and two pairs of shorts, all for about $100.  I can’t wait to go back!

Learn more about music lover and blogger Karen Bernick here. Please feel free to share this article or others. But please use photos with permission only – just email me with any requests. If you like this post, please consider following me here, liking my Facebook page Karen Loves Country or following me at Twitter. Thanks for reading! #BargainNook #Platteville #Wisconsin #Bargains #HodanCommunityServices #KarenLovesCountry #MomLovesHerMusic

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