Bellevue LifeSpring’s thrift shop has been a hub of giving for decades, where community members can shop, donate and volunteer to make Bellevue a better place. Providing clothing through the thrift shop is a critical part of the holistic approach Bellevue LifeSpring takes in serving families living in poverty. Parents and children are provided with vouchers to shop for clothing. Additionally, the shop is a critical part of raising funds for Bellevue LifeSpring’s other programs that provide food, education and emergency assistance.
We’re excited to announce the grand opening of a new flagship space, housing both our administrative offices and the newly-named Thrift Culture (formerly the Bellevue LifeSpring Thrift Shop).
Why Thrift Culture?
“Bellevue LifeSpring’s culture is one of giving,” Executive Director Jennifer Fischer says. “We chose Thrift Culture because the thrift shop is a big part of that culture, and has been for more than 70 years. It’s a culture of neighbors helping neighbors as it has been from the beginning.”
Building on a Family Legacy
Bellevue LifeSpring’s thrift store began in 1939 as a little shop where old things were mended and made new again, then sold to support the organization’s work. Kemper Freeman, Sr. became involved with Bellevue LifeSpring in 1947 and founded a legacy that would span over 70 years and three generations. He guaranteed the shop rent of only $1 per year on Kemper Development property. Thanks to this gift, Bellevue LifeSpring’s thrift shop is able to funnel its profits to fund programs to serve the children and families in our community.
Now, Kemper Freeman, Jr. is continuing his family’s legacy and helping to make Bellevue LifeSpring’s dream flagship location a reality.
How Can We Afford a Big New Space in Bellevue Square?
Not only is Bellevue LifeSpring’s flagship location larger, Kemper Development and the Kemper Freeman Family ensured it would be completed with all new tenant improvements. The best part? Kemper Freeman is carrying on his family’s legacy and will continue to rent the thrift shop space to Bellevue LifeSpring for only $1 a year.
What’s the benefit?
By combining Bellevue LifeSpring’s administrative offices with Thrift Culture, the new location will bring Bellevue LifeSpring staff, clients and supporters closer together in one collective, collaborative space. With room to grow, Bellevue LifeSpring will be better able to address the needs of Bellevue students and their families living in poverty from the heart of our city. There will be space to address families’ needs holistically with access to food, basic needs, clothing and guidance from staff in one central location.
Bellevue LifeSpring would like to extend their warmest thanks to The Bellevue Collection, Kemper Development Company and the Kemper Freeman Family for the incredible foundation they have provided for Bellevue LifeSpring over the last century, and for their legacy of support that will continue to benefit Bellevue’s families for the next 100 years. We’d also like to express our thanks to the community whose support of Bellevue LifeSpring is helping us take this significant step in our organization’s growth and our ability to help families in need.
Come see us in real life! Stop by Bellevue LifeSpring and “thrift on three” at Thrift Culture on the third floor of Bellevue Square.