by Grace Usher
More than $40,000 has been donated to the local veteran community by the local nonprofit Veterans Thrift Store. The family owned and operated 501(c)3 is a success because of the efforts of couple Jack Kemp and Kay Davidson with the help of their daughter, Roberta Arreola.
There are two store locations in Lake Havasu – one on Acoma Boulevard and the other on Empire Drive.
The Acoma location is also referred to as Thrifty Dollar. The main products of the location are clothing, household items and small furniture.The trademark of the store is the “Dollar Room” where the goal is to be able to purchase quality clothing and other goods for only $1.
At the Empire location – “Furniture and Electronics” – a shopper can find large items including furniture, camping supplies, electronics and appliances.
“My [biological] father was a veteran for the Marine Corps. My stepdad (Kemp) is a veteran as well of the Army Air Force. He realized that a lot of veterans aren’t fully invested in Veteran Affairs and aren’t receiving full benefits. Our first main goal was to help with medical supplies. We recently did the math and have donated more than the store has taken in,” shared Arreola.
.When a veteran is displaced, or in a place of need, the family will provide as many resources as possible to help. Three years ago, they started the Veterans Thrift Store in which all profits go directly to the veteran community.
Along with the stores, the nonprofit plays a vital role in community outreach for veterans of the area. Each year, Roberta Arreola gathers supplies from the state Department of Defense to host both the Lake Havasu and Parker Stand Downs.
A stand down is an event in which multiple resources come together and create a day event where veterans in need can come get much needed supplies and be made aware of available services in the area.
Along with Parker and Lake Havasu, Arreola also attends the two-day Tri-State At-Risk Veteran stand down. Here, she is responsible for making supplies available to the civilian homeless community, mainly clothing.
Veterans Thrift is a member of the Lake Havasu City Veterans Resource Team, a conglomerate of veteran service agencies of Lake Havasu. The aim of the team is to ensure that resources are being allocated to veterans fairly, efficiently and that awareness of resources is made to all veterans of the community.
The group also aides veterans suffering from addiction with the Veterans Treatment Court.
When an individual is assigned community service hours, Veterans Thrift is on the top of the list of places to serve those hours.
Currently, Veterans Thrift is working toward moving to their new home at 2030 Price Drive in Desert Hills. The group hopes to combine both store locations as well as create a hub for veteran services through the organization.
“With our renovation, I am offering double time and extra hours to get this done by, hopefully, summer.I have been hands on, getting my hands dirty. I feel like if i don’t get my hands dirty, it won’t get done. I can’t do this myself, that’s why I am reaching out to get volunteers ” said Arreola.
The readjustment from two storefronts to one final location is Veterans Thrift latest project and takes all the help it can get. Most recently, Western Alarm assisted with the installation of a new fire alarm system in order for the building to be approved for remodeling to begin.
The Veterans Thrift has spent the last three years giving their time and supplies to the displaced veteran community of Lake Havasu and the surrounding areas.
For more information on services, donations and volunteer opportunities, please contact:
Or visit one of the store locations:
Veterans Thrift “Thrift Dollar”
2099 W Acoma Blvd.
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Veterans Thrift “Furniture & Electronics”
1010 Empire Drive
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403