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Community Resource Center’s resale shops reopen, fill with donations

The Community Resource Center (CRC)’s resale shops reopened on May 29 with new hours and guidelines for shopping and donations, following CDC and county safety advisories to help ensure the health and safety of customers, donors and staff. The resale stores in Encinitas, Carlsbad and San Marcos are a critical funding source supporting the nonprofit’s mission to end hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in North County San Diego.

After being closed for months due to the pandemic, the stores saw a huge uptick in donations.

“We love all the support and it is a great blessing to have, but it also has been a challenge during these times to keep up with and process the amount of donations we received,” said Sarah Ferry, CRC chief operating officer.

The CRC shop has adapted by limiting hours and the items that can be donated.

Ferry encourages those with donations to call ahead, review the new donation guidelines online and, if possible, hold their donations for a few weeks to help staff process and sell current inventory. As more customers purchase items, space is freed up to display more donations.

Some of the items that CRC cannot accept at this time include linens and blankets, electronics, stuffed animals, oversized furniture, baby equipment, books and mattresses.

Donations are currently only accepted at the resale store on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a..m. to 3 p.m. Ferry discourages people from leaving items when they are closed, “We cannot use the items left unattended because we can’t verify their safety,” she said.

The CRC store disinfects surfaces every 45 minutes, quarantines donations for three days and has implemented touchless credit card transactions. For those who want or need contact-less buying, CRC is doing online sale events on Facebook Live.

Volunteers from Hope for San Diego helped out at the CRC shop.


With the influx of donations, Ferry said volunteers are invaluable— many of their regular volunteers are among the at-risk population that need to stay home at this time. With safety and distancing protocols in place, Ferry said the stores could always use more volunteers.

As a provider of wrap-around, integrative services, CRC’s programs include a domestic violence emergency shelter, domestic violence hotline, a Therapeutic Children’s Center, professional counseling, legal advocacy, food and nutrition distribution center, homelessness prevention, and rental and housing assistance. Proceeds from the store not only help fund CRC programs but, in many cases, donated items are used when they place clients into housing. “We want it to feel like home for them,” said Deborah Murray, CRC chief development officer.

“As experienced by other social services nonprofits, we are seeing more folks coming to us for food and an increase in calls to our emergency support line for domestic violence,” Murray said.

The CRC’s food and nutrition center staff and volunteers distribute a pre-packed bag of non-perishable food along with a box of fresh food – dairy, meat, vegetables, fruit – and bread, donated by local grocery stores and community groups. Participants can alert the food pantry of any food allergies or dietary needs so the box can be prepared accordingly.

Food distribution is Monday through Friday. Participants include individuals who are homeless, seniors, people who are unable to work because of a disability, people whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 and are in need of emergency food, individuals affected by domestic violence and people who are working with a CRC case manager to gain self-sufficiency.

Currently, the CRC’s emergency food distribution program is serving about 50 households each weekday and the CRC’s priority is making sure their inventory of non-perishable food remains fully stocked. Thankfully during the pandemic, the community has stepped up to support those efforts.

“In these last few months, it has been remarkable to see how many people have reached out to us and asked how they can help us. That is just further confirmation of how wonderful and supportive this community is,” Murray said.

As just two examples of neighborhood generosity: Residents Mark and Lynette Walton held a successful food drive for Easter and Encinitas Highlands residents Judy Berlfein, Betsy Seible, Barbara Bolton and Jack Ross organized a drive that collected 1,800 non-perishable food items and $2,295 in donations.

“For me personally, this has been the most rewarding time during my career, knowing that I can be a source of help to my neighbors when they need help the most,” Murray said. “That’s an amazing thing to be a part of.”

The CRC Encinitas Resale Store is located at 1331 Encinitas Boulevard. To call ahead about donations, call (760) 753-8222.

Contact-less donation drop-offs of food and personal care items can be made Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. via the alley behind CRC’s office at 650 Second St. in Encinitas. To donate money or learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit

Reach the CRC’s domestic violence hotline at (877) 633-1112.


Community Resource Center’s Resale Stores help save lives, money and the environment

Where can you help save lives, find new treasures daily, have a blast shopping with friends and help the environment? Welcome to Community Resource Center’s Resale Stores (CRC Resale Stores).

Established in Encinitas in 1979, CRC operates three stores, in Encinitas, Carlsbad and San Marcos. The stores support CRC’s programs, from a food pantry to domestic violence shelter to housing assistance to professional counseling and much more.

“When people purchase or donate, they’re supporting lifesaving programs that provide healthy food, stable homes and safe relationships to our neighbors in need,” said Debbie Murray, CRC’s Chief Philanthropy Officer.

While they’re budget-friendly, much of the inventory comes from private homes and estate sales and includes vintage and antique items as well as designer clothing and accessories—often with tags still attached. The stores are a wonderful resource for decorating on a budget or renewing a wardrobe (and there’s no sales tax at CRC Resale Stores).

“The community supports us with amazing donations,” said Murray. “There’s something for everyone, from home and garden to jewelry, with new items arriving daily.”

From an organizational perspective, Murray also sees CRC Resale Stores as ambassadors for CRC programs. Shoppers learn about CRC in the stores and can then share its resources with neighbors in need.

“It’s amazing our little brick-and-mortar Resale Stores accomplish so much locally,” said Murray.

One way CRC serves the community is by placing individuals and families in safe housing. Case managers also give lists of needed donation items to store managers who then set aside those items for the clients, gathering them in time for scheduled move-in dates.

“That way,” said Murray, “the clients aren’t moving into an apartment, they’re moving into a home.”

CRC gives store vouchers to clients, too, such as those fleeing domestic violence, so they can obtain clothing and secure what they need to create a safe and comfortable living space.

“When case managers tell me how it feels placing people into homes, it brings the numbers to life. Those are actual individuals and families we helped,” said Murray.

Thrifting is also environmentally friendly. In 2019, the three CRC Resale Stores received over 31,000 donation drop-offs—an estimated diversion of 372,000 cubic feet of material that would have become landfill waste.

Then there’s the fact that thrifting is just fun. Other stores have endless racks of the same items but every rack in CRC Resale Stores is different. It’s like hunting for treasure—especially fun when competing with friends to find the coolest stuff.

But remember that thrifting rewards the quick. Resale Store staff remind shoppers, “If you see it and you like it, you better buy it.” That’s because there’s no backstock, no “different size or color” in a warehouse. The items are all unique and they move fast.

While CRC operates the stores and programs, it can’t take all the credit for its impact in the community, according to Murray.

“The community makes the impact because we’re doing this together. If we didn’t have the community’s support our work would be much more difficult.”

The next time you go shopping, visit a CRC Resale Store.

“People think of stores like Target first,” said Murray, “but our stores provide much of the same inventory at similar prices—plus the added value of helping the environment and supporting neighbors who need your help today.”

For information on store locations, hours and donation drop-offs, please visit Follow the stores on Facebook and Instagram @shopcrc for the latest updates.

(For CRC’s help with housing assistance, food, benefits applications and more, call (760) 753-8300 or email [email protected]. Advocates can also be reached at CRC’s toll-free 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: (877) 633-1112.)

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CRC Resale Store

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Business operations may be affected due to COVID-19. Please contact the business directly to verify hours.

Most Recent Comments

  • July 2020

    I donated several clothes, shoes and handbags to this store. The manager, Mary, was so kind and helpful and very excited to see what I had donated! I love the fact that your donation helps to end hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence in our community!!

  • September 2019

    This is a small thrift store just down the street from Grocery Outlet. Knic knacs are overpriced. Clothes selection is small. Overall, things are overpriced and they just don't have good stuff.

  • March 2019

    CRC San Marcos, CA has morphed into a miniature Goodwill with rude employees. Just lost another client & consumer with your high price point for goods/donations that CRC receives for free on a daily basis.

More Comments(36)

From CRC Resale Store

Resale store offering clothing, accessories, furniture, home decor and more at great prices. Proceeds support CRC's programs that work to end hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in our community.

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