Sorting through donations at 2nd Chance

2nd Chance Depot store manager Michelle Boer sorts through some china that’s been donated to the store. The business, owned by ATLAS of Sioux Center, accepts a variety of donated items, excluding TVs and workout equipment.

SIOUX CENTER—A place filled with little treasures waiting for a home is just across the railroad tracks in Sioux Center, according to 2nd Chance Depot store manager Michelle Boer.

The secondhand goods store 2nd Chance Depot at 303 Seventh St. N.W.— just two blocks west from the Casey General Store and Hardee’s intersection — has been in Sioux Center for decades, but it’s a bit of a hidden gem, Boer said.

The business began in 1994, operated by Jake and Gert Kieft until January 2006, when they sold 2nd Chance to ATLAS of Sioux Center. Since then, 2nd Chance has remained in operation as a for-profit business that works to benefit ATLAS of Sioux Center.

“All of the proceeds go directly to ATLAS (of Sioux Center),” Boer said, providing them with a revenue source that can be used in a flexible manner depending on their needs.

Second Chance houses its items, all of which is donated, in two buildings: the main one off the road and a second warehouse structure behind that.

In them, a variety of items can be found.

“It changes every day,” Boer said. “We get everything from big appliances like washers and dryers to the smallest of decor and little treasures you’d never expect. There are all sorts of treasures when you come in.”

For example, one item that caught her eye was a pink stove that came in.

She loves it when people think of them by donating items.

“Instead of throwing it away, they bring it here,” Boer said. “I’ve had people buy stuff from here and then return it, so I get to sell it twice. I want them to know when they do that what it helps because ATLAS is an incredible ministry.”

There are some rules on what can be donated, however. For example, they don’t accept TVs or workout equipment.

The people who come in are as varied as the items they’re looking for. Some are older folks just browsing, others are college-aged students looking to furnish an apartment or dorm room. Some are looking for items to repurpose.

“That’s a rewarding part of the job: you get to meet the people coming in,” Boer said.

Except for Boer, all staff at 2nd Chance are volunteers. They are looking for additional volunteers, according to Boer.

Boer started work as the store manager of 2nd Chance two years ago.

Her husband had been approached about taking on the job of store manager for 2nd Chance, but he felt it wasn’t right for him. At the same time, Boer wasn’t happy with her work that kept her close to computers for too long.

“I wanted to be more active,” she said.

Soon, her husband suggested that she take on the job, and the rest is history.

“It’s not about the money that we make; it’s about the people that we touch,” she said of 2nd Chance. “We’re about touching people and showing the love of Christ to them.”

Items intended to be donated can be dropped off during store hours, between 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. They’re also open 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.-Saturdays. Their phone number is 712-722-0830.