By, Zulema Herrera
“Antiques and More at Staley Road” is one of the largest vintage stores in Champaign, almost reaching 9,000 square feet. Many of its products are provided by vendors with their own booths in different areas of the store. Some of those areas are reserved for charities that allow visitors to contribute monetary and/or personal donations for a given cause.
Store owner, Lisa McElwain, says they have been involved in various organizations such as Wishes on Wheel, MDA Bunny Bash, Swim for Bug, and the Humane Society. Their most recent event gave an opportunity for visitors to donate items for the homeless, which started in February and ended last Sunday, March 14th. McElwain says that their contributions this year was large.
“I can’t say enough about my customer and my vendors, my friends and family, they all come together to make the events that we have and they’re a success,” said McElwain “I think the more people know about it the more people get involved in it.”
The section for the shelter-less donations is right at the entrance of the store and is the first thing you see when you walk inside. The boxes for donations are approximately 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, according to McElwain. She says they have emptied them out twice and even extended the event until March due to customer demand for more time to donate—their original deadline is usually by the end of February.
Alongside this annual event, she also has a booth free of charge and open to donations for the Humane Society; an organization that advocates for animal welfare and is against animal cruelty. McElwain says the opportunity to provide the basic necessities for the most vulnerable, like the Humane Society or for the shelter-less, is often unrecognized by the community.
“There are a lot of people don’t know the shelter-less community needs toiletries, needs pillows, bags, they need razors to shave, so if we can get that out there and let more people know,” said McElwain, “… I think it’s great for everybody, we just need to come together as a community where there is help and the need, and we can do it.”