After being closed for several months due to damage by Hurricane Sandy, the Family & Children’s Service (FCS) Thrift Boutique in Long Branch has reopened.
The store had its grand reopening on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and has been completely completely restored and refurbished thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Robin Hood Relief Fund and help from dozens of local organizations and businesses.
FCS Thrift Boutique, 307 Branchport Avenue, was filled with four feet of flood waters caused by Sandy, causing the interior and inventory to be destroyed.
"I came in the Tuesday after the store and literally everything inside had been overturned," FCS Volunteer Services Manager Samantha White said. "None of us expected that much water."
White, who runs the boutique, said the building had some flooding during Hurricane Irene, but nothing like what Sandy brought upon it.
"We lost every fixture, every article of clothing," she said. "Everything had to go."
The botique, which sells men's and women's clothing, accessories and housewares donates all its proceeds to FCS, located at 191 Bath Avenue, Long Branch. FCS gives help to families seeking social services, educational support, mental health counseling, caregiver relief or in-home intervention, and care for disabled or elderly loved ones during difficult times.
White said the boutique sells high quality items at low prices and that its loss at the hands of Hurricane Sandy could not have at a worse time.
"We were closed at a time when so many people could have used our help," White said. "Not having the store open in a time of need was upsetting."
However, she said the community response since the storm reopened has been "great."
"The community has come out in full force," she said. "We've been getting new customers and old and loyal customers keep coming out."