Thrift Store Supports Shelter Through Lean Times

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The new manager of Time Out Thrift Shop is a domestic violence survivor.

"I am impassioned to help and develop women to their full potential," Charlotte Beilgard said.

Many years ago, counselors at a domestic violence shelter in Beaumont, Texas helped Beilgard see that her life was in danger from the man she had been married to for 25 years.

She was raised in a church that did not believe in divorce.

"I thought I just had to take the abuse, then, when I went to the domestic violence center for counseling, he (my husband at the time) told me I was crazy," she said.

When Beilgard made the decision to leave, her abuser threatened her with a knife.

"It was so traumatic. I felt like someone had hit me on the head and said, if you want to live, you'd better get out," she said.

So Beilgard went to live with relatives.

"I was an apartment manager at the time so unlike many women, I was not without financial resources," Beilgard said.

She forgave her ex-husband without condoning his actions.

She met a nice man at a spiritual workshop and the two became friends. They shared a lot of common background. He had witnessed his father abuse his mother, but he got help and a degree. He became a master counselor.

The two fell in love and married.

"It is important to know that someone who was abused for 25 years, came out. Not just came out, but became a whole person and found a relationship that works and is not abusive," Beilgard said.

She rebuilt her life.

Beilgard was a clerk at Sears when she was 17 years old. She unearthed her retail roots when she and her new husband became traveling vendors and demonstrators of personal gift items.

Charlotte also produced a newsletter, "Enlightening Choices" that she passed out at domestic violence shelters in cities where they stopped.

When their son was married a few months ago at Kohl's Ranch, the Beilgards fell in love with Payson.

After seven years traversing America, Beilgard said she wanted to return to the service industry.

Time Out hired her in August.

She said she is "awed" by the wonderful donations and the volunteer staff at the shop.

"I don't think the shelter in Beaumont got the kind of support this shelter gets. The store is like an ongoing fund raiser," Beilgard said.

Profits from the store are even more important, as 2007 has been a lean year for the non-profit. Profits are used for the Time Out Shelter's program costs and services.

Time Out's hotline is: (928) 472-8007 or (800) 799-7233.

Time Out, Inc. lost $19,409 in grant money from the Department of Justice, administered through the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education. The grants for 28 cities in Arizona were not renewed -- $391,000 of funding statewide.

Time Out used that money for emergency shelter and transitional housing for residents, as well as programs for domestic victims and survivors in the community.

"We do not know how we are going to make up the grant yet, our grant writer is looking for us," Gerry Bailey, executive director or Time Out said.

"We have been able to count on the thrift shop to get us through leaner times, of course that is due to the amazing people in this community who keep on donating and shopping," she added.

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