People With Special Needs Drive This Thrift Store

PHOENIX (January 30, 2018) – Most thrift stores have a sameness to them: they sell used clothing, furniture, books and kitchen items and the like. The workers you meet in these shops are generally volunteers and very nice, and the stores most often raise funds supporting not-for-profit organizations. This would be your typical thrift store in the Phoenix market.

However, there is a store which offers something different. Flerish Design and Resale is a thrift store, too, but the workers who greet you at the door have special needs. The store is one of the training centers for the Civitan Foundation, which provides a variety of vocational, recreational and educational services for the developmentally disabled.

At Flerimember Cathy Bernardo and coach Modena Barclay - FLERISH REV 2sh, located at 12621 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix, Civitan “members” have job coaches which help them with tasks. These tasks may include instruction on how to properly take inventory, fold and hang clothing, where to put items, as well as how to properly greet a customer and being timed in how long it takes to carry out some of these tasks. In addition, while the members are working at Flerish they are being paid by Civitan.

A major part of the Civitan Foundation’s mission is to provide the highest level of vocational skills, matched to each participant’s individual goals and aspirations. Programs are structured to showcase the member’s talents, while they earn fair compensation for the skills they have worked hard to learn. Currently, there are more than 140 weekly shifts of Civitan members working at Flerish.

Civitan strives to develop programs which help developmentally disabled individuals build confidence and life skills to enrich their lives and live more independently. Other vocational programs offered through Civitan include: Janitorial and custodial, fleet vehicle interior and exterior cleaning, light grounds keeping, clerical and reception, and food services and catering.

Flerish Design and Resale may be like most other thrift outlets by connecting community donated goods with sustainable shoppers, but we’re different. Not only does this store help fund Civitan programs, it also provides and promotes employment opportunities for people with special needs.

Learn more about the programs and services of the Civitan Foundation, as well as Flerish Design and Resale at