Help wanted: Apex thrift store that assists victims set to close
Posted May 19, 2016
Apex, N.C. — An Apex thrift store that helps victims of violent crime is less than 48 hours from closing its doors, unless it can get some help.
One year ago, the North Carolina Victims Association Network opened the Butterfly Boutique after lawmakers eliminated its annual state funding of $112,000 per year. The proceeds help fund the group's mission, but the store has not been able to turn a profit.
Freda Macdonald said the store was there for her after her son was murdered in Raleigh back in 2013. She then turned her grief into action by helping to get the store up and running. It quickly became a place to raise money and connect with victims' families.
"We just shed tears there together in remembering, and people are so glad we are there," she said.
The store was put together and is run by volunteers. A lot of the volunteers are family members of murder victims. They call the store a heart project, but now they are sad to see it close.
"To see this close, we have to grieve this loss as well," said Executive Director Elizabeth Watson.
The nonprofit's board hoped the thrift store would offset the state funding loss, but with expenses at $4,200 per month, it was not possible.
"We put everything into it. Time, talent and treasure, and it didn't work," Watson said.
Now, Watson is hoping someone can save the day.
"The ideal thing would be if we had a donated space because our largest overhead is rent," she said. "Everything here is donated, so we can move it. But unfortunately at this location, everything is being cleared out."