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Free Store Moves Back to Trading Post

Submitted by Sue Aasen

The Circle Clothing Free Store has moved back to the Trading Post located across from the little Casino on County Road K. On Monday, April 19, 2021, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board overwhelmingly expressed their support of the free clothing project by approving the Circle’s request to occupy the store site. The occupancy of the store is for one year. The store is located upstairs in front, which has better access for shoppers. A handicap ramp is in front.

The purpose of the project is to make all items available at no cost to the community. Clothing for the entire family is available with fresh items put on the shelves every day. Donations are also accepted for dishes, towels, sheets, blankets, toys, and everything for a home. We receive mattresses and couches that are available upon request. When a person needs a special item not in the store, a search for the item is made among our contacts and donors. Occasionally, a voucher to the local thrift store is available.

In addition to the Clothing Free Store, we are offering outdoor market space to tribal arts and crafts people to sell their jewelry and crafts at the Trading Post. There is no vendor cost at the Trading Post. The Circle will work with the arts and crafts group on their advertising.

The weekly schedule for store hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Any donations are handled though Tracey Weaver and Jared Kagegibi, Assistant Managers. Everything must be clean and not damaged.

Additionally, the Store is engaged in community projects that benefit the community even further. There is a real sense of community from the events. There is no charge to participate.

Tuesdays: Circle Sewing 6:00 – 9:00 pm (Susan Aasen) (Supply donations appreciated)

Wednesday: Wellbriety 6:00 – 7:00 pm. (Steve Perry)

Thursday: Narcotics Anonymous 6:00 – 7:00 pm. (Steve Perry)

Thursdays: Ojibwe Language 7:00 – 9:00 pm (Joyce Miller – teacher)

This project is a very large undertaking by the entire community. Volunteers are also helping in the store. We appreciate the extra help when people can stop in for a few hours to go through clothing for sorting and offer suggestions to make the store more efficient. It is rewarding to see families appreciate their items to take home and they bring in items that are no longer useful. Children love to shop in the store. They get their own shopping bags for their goodies.

When a person visits the store, they can register for a door prize. Three names are pulled daily for newly purchased gifts. Recently, a loving donation of grandma made quilts arrived at the store. Pam Fairbanks in Minneapolis sent about 25 homemade quilts through David La Morie. A list of frequent shoppers was developed by Tracey Weaver and the blankets are being gifted to the shoppers. Another donation of blankets came in from Hayward and these blankets are for children. Tracey and Jared will be looking for young children to gift the blankets.

This project and all the events are sponsored by the Circle for Indigenous Peoples Rights, Inc.


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