Whaley Children's Center announces the opening of new project, Reclaimed by Whaley

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FLINT (WJRT) - (09/03/2019) - A new storefront is opening up in downtown Flint.
And while it may look like a normal business, this one has a unique mission.

"It was a simple idea of what if you could and we just ran with it," said Mindy Williams, president, and CEO of Whaley Children’s Center.

Last year, Williams came up with the simple idea -- to open a resale shop offering clothes, accessories, furniture, and home goods.
But this business would be a little different, starting with who's behind the counter.

"There's a very interesting twist,” said Williams. “We're going to give preferred employment to either current or former foster kids, ages 17 to 25."

Over the years, she saw kids leave Whaley and struggle.
She wanted to change that while giving them valuable experience.

"We're doing this because there's a gap in the system,” said Williams. “This group of kids just isn’t being supported and they need just a little bit of help. So we're going to be able to give them a job opportunity. They're going to learn marketing, social media. They're going to learn customer service. They're going to learn how to run a store and just get that support that they absolutely need."

The store is on W. 2nd St. in downtown Flint, just off of Saginaw St.
As they put the finishing pieces of the store together, they are trying to stay true to the name -- Reclaimed.

And Williams believes the store will offer customers more than just goods.

"I think we can all appreciate getting a second chance so if you come down here, you're giving not only some kids some amazing work ethic experience but you're giving us all a second chance."

Whaley Children's Center is accepting donations at its main campus.
Williams says they have some work still to do -- but the goal is to open by October 1st.

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