Repeat Boutique 2019-10-08 046_web
Local News

Shopping at Repeat Boutique helps support Grand Prairie

Repeat Boutique volunteers, from left, Maureen Guger,
Eileen Anderson, Trudy Wallerstedt, Rosita Baruela and
Barb Creal work at the resale shop that provides 
support for Grand Prairie Services, a nonprofit 
behavioral healthcare organization.
 
(Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

Repeat Boutique volunteers, from left, Maureen Guger,
Eileen Anderson, Trudy Wallerstedt, Rosita Baruela and
Barb Creal work at the resale shop that provides
support for Grand Prairie Services, a nonprofit
behavioral healthcare organization.
 
(Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

On a Tuesday early in October, Delores Cave of Park Forest picked up a nostalgic figurine of a fireman from a display at Repeat Boutique. It caught her eye because she knows a firefighter and thought he might appreciate it.

Cave is a regular customer at the resale shop on Dixie Highway in Homewood, there for the bargains but also because shopping there contributes to a worthy cause.

Barbara Creal, who has been the store manager since it opened a quarter of a century ago, said all the sale proceeds are donated to Grand Prairie Services, a nonprofit mental health organization with offices in Flossmoor, Chicago Heights, South Holland, Tinley Park and Steger and residential facilities throughout the region.

Creal retired from Grand Prairie after working there full time for about 15 years. She still works part time at the office in South Holland. In her last years before retirement, she worked in fundraising. 

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She’s still on the task.

“Over the years, we’ve given them eight vans, property for a group home, furniture,” she said. 

The shop is also a resource for Grand Prairie clients, who often have few worldly possessions.

“When a client comes from a hospital with no clothes, a therapist brings them over, and they come out with a wardrobe,” Creal said. “After they leave, you have that satisfying feeling. You really helped someone. My dad and mother always taught me, ‘Do something for your community.’ And I’m doing it.”

She’s not alone in her commitment to service. Creal leads about 35 volunteers who help at the shop, sorting donations, stocking shelves, serving customers and Grand Prairie clients. 

Eileen Anderson is another Grand Prairie retiree who works regularly at the store. 

She served as assistant director of facilities and safety and retired after 25 years with the organization.

As soon as she retired, Creal recruited her. 

“I like talking to the customers. I enjoy being here,” she said.

The volunteers have formed their own tight-knit community. They are proud of their store and their service, and they lean on each other for support. 

The store at 18157 Dixie Highway might be small, but the group manages a wide range of goods, from clothing for men, women and children to tools, jewelry, picture frames and housewares.

There is always a seasonal display with items for the next holiday on the calendar. Christmas is next up, so shoppers could find gifts there — and in the process, help support mental health services in the area.

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