Blue Bird Market finds a new home – The Advocate-Messenger

“We’re thrilled to be back and it was great to see so many familiar faces,” manager Beth Marlowe said of the grand opening of the Blue Bird Market at 512 S. Fourth St.

Saturday’s event went well, she said, but the lines were long and disrupted the general flow inside the new location a bit. “So we have a few things to sort out.”

Non-profit organization Blue Bird sells vintage and other used items at fair prices, and is known as a place to find creative finds. Items are donated and all proceeds support the Wilderness Trace Child Development Center (WTCDC).

Bluebird 3.0

The WTCDC is an early education center that works with children of varying abilities, ages 2-5. The center combines speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy in a preschool program. Blue Bird was created as a source of funding for the center.

The market has been a mainstay in Danville for the past decade, but in the past two years it has had to make some leaps. After moving out of his original space in a building outside the ring road in 2020, for security reasons and without heat or air, he moved into a suite in the Greenleaf Mall on Lexington Avenue.

But then the owners sold the unit and they moved in January 2022.

“It was Bluebird 2.5, and I call this one 3.0,” laughed Marlowe. “Because we are here for the long haul.”

The biggest impact of this most recent move is that “we’ve had to downsize a lot,” which will affect how they accept drop-off donations and handle pickup. Its original location offered 27,000 square feet, enough to have a showroom for sales as well as a storage room for any donations they could keep.

“This space is 3,300 square feet,” Marlowe said, adding that they were very happy and grateful to have even found it. But downsizing requires intense organization. Previously, Blue Bird accepted just about any donation of goods, and items they didn’t sell were turned over to other agencies who could use them, like blankets at the Humane Society, for example.

But in the new location, the association did not bring anything with it. “We haven’t brought anything to this new place, other than our shelves.” The market donated items from its previous location to shelters after tornadoes hit western Kentucky, but is now on track to restock, Marlowe said, due to its incredible supporters.

“But we don’t have any storage space, so we can’t take fabric items – that doesn’t include comforters, blankets, curtains, things like that.”

They’ll still take things like decorative pillows that sell out, and anyone questioning a donation can contact Marlowe.

The new location, located across from the Salvation Army and next to the Danville Church of God, will accept donations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“Usually we think of them as ‘in our car’ donations,” Marlowe said, where drivers stop to drop off items. “But if it’s a full truck, we’ll have to plan that with them.”

Pickups can always be scheduled, which are carried out by a group of Blue Bird volunteers every Tuesday morning.

The rear section of the Blue Bird Market features furniture, tableware, a library and CD section, as well as a children’s section. Photo by Fiona Morgan

Shop with a purpose

“Saturdays are for shopping,” Marlowe said, with the market open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and now joining in the fun with Third Thursday events in Danville. “Since we are closer to the city center now, we will be open every third Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.” in the summer.

Marlowe said the market offers Christmas items year-round and finds items such as Bybee pottery and Depression glass. “You never know what you’ll find at Blue Bird Market…right now we have a side-by-side refrigerator and a washer and dryer…”

When Marlowe started with the nonprofit seven years ago, it was bringing in as much as $69,000. “The goal was $100,000, and I worked from behind to try and get to that goal. It took us three years, but we got there.

And last year at Greenleaf (the sequel had a queue around the corner, all the way to the bowling alley the day it opened…) Blue Bird was able to bring in $150,000, which Marlowe said was insane – in the best possible way. This helped since the market was closed for four months due to a move.

“But that was when we had so much space and could accept a huge amount of donations. I’m a little worried now because we don’t have the inventory space.

Years ago, Blue Bird was created to be “the icing on the WTCDC cake,” Marlowe said. “Then Blue Bird became a big slice of the pie, when their funding changed and a lot of cuts affected them.” And the market has become vital as a supporting stream.

Libby Suttles, executive director of the WTCDC, said the steady revenue stream from the market helps sustain early education and therapeutic services “for the exceptional children in our communities” and that “philanthropy is the backbone of the center “.

Without donations, its services would be eliminated. The center’s large funding has been cut significantly over the years, she said, and they have been unable to hold the annual fundraising event in recent years due to the pandemic.

Suttles said the center is celebrating the grand opening of the Blue Bird Market, “in the hope that people will continue to work wonders at the WTCDC”, and that hundreds of children from local neighborhoods have trusted its services over the course of the year. of the past 43 years.

“People who donate, buy or volunteer at Blue Bird have created a community that loves our children and our families. We really wouldn’t be able to serve children without the profits generated by Blue Bird,” Suttles said. “We hope everyone will continue to shop with a purpose.”


• To schedule donation drops or pickups with Blue Bird Market, call (859) 516-1193. Manager Beth Marlowe said it’s helpful when scheduling a pickup to also text a picture of the items along with the address.

• Additional parking has been graciously permitted on the land adjacent to the Church of God, but shoppers should avoid the land of other businesses around the market.

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