The announcement had been made that Hope Harbor, a home for at-risk youth just outside Claremore, would be opening a resale store in downtown Claremore.
“I had been wondering, ‘what should I be doing with my life,’ … so I signed up to volunteer,” said Kim, the manager at Thrift Harbor, 316 W. Will Rogers Blvd. “I slowly realized this was where I needed to be, and it’s been good.”
Proceeds from Thrift Harbor in Claremore, and their brand-new location in Bartlesville, benefit Hope Harbor.
The vision for Hope Harbor began in 1947 as the Turley Children’s Home. The mission is to serve at-risk youth and their families. Boys and girls in the program live at different cottages, attend school and receive counseling all on the Hope Harbor campus. Additionally, parents receive training and support to strengthen and stabilize the home environment.
“I grew up knowing about it. My grandpa was a supporter of it when I was a little girl, and he’d say “a portion of this goes to Turley Children’s Home”,” Kim said. “It’s kind of nice to think that your grandfather had something to do with it 50 years ago.”
The store celebrated its fifth birthday in March of this year. It was voted the Best Resale Store in Rogers County in 2015.
“I wanted it to not only benefit Hope Harbor; I wanted it to be a good thing for the Claremore community,” she said. “Clothes can make you feel good … I think what we are doing, what my personal mission was, to really help people who couldn’t afford new items to feel better about themselves.”
“We try to put out clothing that we would put our own children or ourselves in,” she added.
Kim said she regularly hears stories about how the reduced prices at Thrift Harbor for Christmas or back-to-school items have allowed local families to reallocate funds to family time or other necessities.
Further, she said she loves seeing the liveliness of downtown Claremore change and grow in the last five years.
“We’ve grown a lot in the five years we’ve been downtown and I can see that it’s going to continue,” she said. “Now, it’s real exciting to see all the cute boutiques and all that’s happening down here. Anytime you have all this growth down here, it creates all this energy.”
Thrift Harbor accepts donations of almost all kinds. For various reasons, employees cannot accept mattresses, baby car seats, helmets, TVs or gas-powered items. The store, however, always needs more knick-knacks and decorations, Kim said.