After more than 25 years serving the Ottawa community, ReRuns, the resale shop operated by the OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center Auxiliary, will close later this year.
“It’s been an emotional few days,” says Lenise Leipold, who has managed ReRuns since taking the reins from longtime manager Lacene Freese in 2008. Freese currently acts as assistant manager and has served the organization since 1993.
Established to serve the public by offering retail merchandise for their use at bargain prices, the store, operated almost entirely by volunteers, has historically been a good fundraiser for the auxiliary. However, changes in consumer shopping habits and increased competition prompted the auxiliary board to recently decide to close the store.
“We’ve experienced a significant reduction in store traffic and donations,” says Jayne Nugent, Manager of Volunteer Services at OSF Saint Elizabeth. “To close was the fiscally responsible thing to do.”
In addition to selling items, ReRuns has always donated clothing to local non-profit social service agencies in need. And the store has been a resource of clothing for some medical center discharge patients, something Nugent says the hospital hopes to continue when the store closes.
Of primary concern for both Nugent and Leipold are the volunteers, who have selflessly donated hundreds of hours to ReRuns. “They are good, caring people, who do things for people in need. They are very generous volunteers,” says Nugent. Leipold adds, “My heart goes out to the community because I believe this is a loss. I’m concerned about the volunteers and I know OSF Saint Elizabeth will do everything it can to find them areas where they can contribute to those we serve.”
ReRuns is no longer accepting consignment items, but will continue to take donations. The store will close at the end of November.