ReSource’ store hosts celebration Saturday
BARRE — Five years and $1.7 million later, the ReSOURCE Store will end its Barre Social Enterprise Expansion Capital Campaign on Saturday with a celebration at its store at 30 Granite St. in Barre.
The store sells recycled household goods, as well retail and building materials, while using the materials it doesn’t sell to support its various community-based programs.
The organization said its mission is to meet community and individual needs through education and job skills training, environmental stewardship, and economic opportunities. The campaign was an effort by ReSOURCE to raise money for its Barre branch, after the organization expanded there from Burlington in 2009. During the campaign, the store received support from over 325 donors, including 54 from Vermont.
The celebration will kick off at 4 p.m. with a family concert by the Re-BOPs. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be food and drink from local vendors including Citizen Cider, Lost Nation Brewery, Cabot Creamery, and Ben & Jerry’s. At 5:30 there will be a series of speakers, including U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, Mayor Thomas Lauzon, and ReSOURCE Executive Director Tom Longstreth.
Following the speeches, Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band will cap off the event with an early evening concert. Event organizers expect the celebration to conclude around 7:30 or 8 p.m.
The events at the celebration will all take place on ReSOURCE’s “Flying Stage.”
ReSOURCE, which also has a location in Morrisville, came to Barre in 2009. Ostler said the decision to expand to the Granite City was the result of a couple of different factors.
“It was partly a need for our services. We heard from people in Barre that they would like to have a retail store. There was also another retail store in the central Vermont area whose roof had caved in. We offered to help fix their roof and they asked us if we could take over their program,” he said.
The organization purchased the Beck & Beck No. 1 Granite Shed in downtown Barre in 2009, and students and instructors in ReSOURCE’s Youth Build program spent the next four years working with local contractors to renovate and weatherize the building, while ReSOURCE officials raised money through the capital campaign.
The Youth Build program is one of the organization’s most valuable community initiatives, according to Ostler. The program helps high school dropouts across the nation earn their diplomas through a combination of classes and work on construction sites. The local program lasts 10 weeks and is open to those 16 to 24 years old. Ostler said ReSOURCE has about 32 participants per year in central Vermont.
“We’ve always identified the need for the Youth Build program,” he said. “The idea was that you had high school dropouts with no prospects to make a living. A group decided that if we get them the opportunity to earn a high school diploma while learning job skills in construction, that could give them a boost.”
The program is mostly made up of men, but the organization is trying to get more young women involved, according to Ostler.
In addition to the Youth Build program, ReSOURCE also provides services in poverty relief, environmental stewardship, and job skills training.
For more information about the ReSOURCE and the celebration on Saturday, call 917-4950.
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