The popularity of the Rapid City Club for Boys Thrift Store has encouraged the organization to make a big move.
The club, which depends on the store's proceeds to fund programs for hundreds of boys in Rapid City, is going move the thrift shop to a building at 960 Campbell Street that has twice the square footage and double the parking of the current location, according to executive director Scott Bader.
"This is really a huge undertaking," he said Friday. "We see this as one most significant changes we have made in 50 years."
He said he is planning a mid-July opening to their new building, which is across from the Central States Fairgrounds.
The move to a larger site is a long-held dream for Bader, who hopes the new location will translate to more sales and more revenue for the club.
The Club for Boys is funded mainly by community donations, local fundraising and proceeds from the thrift store. In 2012, 85 percent of the $1.3 million annual budget came from the community, including 100 percent of the store's profits.
The club provides programs that fill an important role in the lives of hundreds of boys ages 6 to 17 in Rapid City, Bader said.
An average of 244 boys visit the club every day; a majority of them live near or below poverty levels, and just over 10 percent reported being homeless sometime during the past year, according to Bader.
The club provides hot meals, homework help, a gym for athletic events, outdoor activities and support for the boys.
"The kids that need us most are the kids from low-income families that need some help providing things," Bader said. "Those are the kids that keep me up at night. If we weren't there they wouldn't have anything to do and those boys would be wandering the streets or home alone."
Since Bader started working at the Club for Boys in 2006, he said he has seen huge increases in business at the thrift store as well as boys who need adult mentors to help them make good decisions and move ahead in their lives.
"We try to develop relationships with kids so that they have someone else to go to when the face difficult issues in life, someone besides a parent or a teacher that they can go to," Bader said. "We like to think of ourselves as older, smarter friends."