Lisa Coronado

The Renewed Blessings Resale Shop in East Aldine offers retail “therapy at its very best” PP — guilt-free bargain shopping for a good cause.

From authentic rodeo gear to sparkling wedding gowns and designer First Communion dresses, the well-organized shop sells thousands of treasures to benefit the programs of the Buckner Family Hope Center.

Manager Lisa Coronado and her assistant Frances Ramirez have been working diligently to switch from winter to spring merchandise in the five sections of the store, which includes a women’s “designer” clothing section. In the process, they untangled a mountain of recently donated necklaces, earrings and rings from a defunct boutique.

And they have carefully organized, by size, dozens of tiny, barely worn outfits in a cute room that feels like the location of a recent baby shower. Another room features clothes for larger kids, including shoes; a room featuring men’s wear; and bargain-priced women’s wear.

There’s also a section for small household goods and décor, as well as children’s toys and backpacks. That includes – surprisingly in land-locked East Aldine – a weather-proof scuba diving suit.

What makes the store unique, however, is the exemplary customer service that Coronado and Ramirez provide.

A new customer furnishing her first apartment had picked out a large faux ficus tree, but Coronado first insisted she leave it at the store so that she could completely dust it. When customers call looking for a particular item, the women often recognize their voices and call them by their first names.

Frances Ramirez

They provide a walker, equipped with a seat, for older customers who want to shop but often need to sit down before finishing. Or sometimes, Coronado said, “They really just want to come in and look around and talk.”

Coronado, who has worked in the store for five years, grew up with her grandmother after her mother died. Through grateful tears, she said: “It might be that I am able to understand people who are in need.”

“Seeing them happy with the things they have found makes me happy,” Coronado said. “I’m seeing a lot of new residents from Honduras who are just starting out here. And they are so happy to be able to afford our merchandise.”

Renewed Blessings blesses its regular customers with a system called “key tag” savings. Customers who buy a $5 key tag are entitled to enjoy generous savings – up to 75 percent off, on certain sale days. The shop also has “specials” each month.

All sales from Renewed Blessings benefit the community programs provided by the Buckner Family Center. All customers leave the store with a list of those services. For some, the store is their introduction to a range of services that range from after-school programs for children to counseling or other family services, such as financial empowerment.

The Buckner Family Hope Center is planning to move to a new location later this year, just 6.5 miles from its current location.

Renewed Blessings is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Although the store does not sell large furniture items, arrangements are sometimes made for such donations. Area residents who wish to donate clothing or other items are encouraged to call 281-449-4835.

— By Anne Marie Kilday