Giving back and grand openings

HAL Thrift Shop to change, a little; bank donates to homeless shelter; three grand openings; and four on the verge of bankruptcy

Thrift stores are meccas of all things kitschy, old-school and just plain one-of-a-kind. And when the proceeds go to a good cause, it makes forking over a few bucks for that must-have barbecue-utensil wind chime all the more worth it. At HAL Thrift Shop here in Chico, proceeds benefit the Human Animal League, a nonprofit that supports local animal charities. That will soon be changing.

“Beginning in the new year, HAL Thrift Shop will transition to new management as the Human Animal League moves forward in the next phase of building an animal rescue and rehab, our ultimate goal,” HAL Thrift announced on its Facebook page.

As of Jan. 1, HAL will change its acronym to Helping Animal Lives, according to Tracy Mohr, animal services manager for the city of Chico. As head of Chico Animal Shelter, she dispelled the notion that CAS would be taking over the thrift store. Instead, it will be self-run, she said, adding that part of the proceeds will go to help the animals in her care.

HAL Thrift Shop is seeking volunteers for shifts Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6 p.m., as well as for scheduling and opening and closing the store. The store is located at 611 Walnut St. Email for a volunteer application.

Grand openings First, I want to mention that Ulta Beauty is finally open next to Costco. The beauty supply big box celebrated its grand opening at the beginning of the month and offers everything from hair care products to waxing services.

This weekend marks the grand opening of two very different businesses here in Chico. The first, locally owned Hooker Oak Distillery, makes a variety of rums, including traditional, pineapple and apple pie flavors. Yum! Grand opening is Saturday (Dec. 17), noon-5 p.m. Must be 21 to attend. The distillery is at 2420 Park Ave. and can be reached at 809-0720.

Grand opening No. 2 on Saturday is at the Chico Mall, where Torrid will be handing out gift cards for up to $100 to the first 50 customers. Torrid, sort of like the big sister to Hot Topic, is known for its trendy plus-size (10-20) clothing.

Gift of giving The Torres Community Shelter got a much-needed cash infusion earlier this month, when locally owned Golden Valley Bank signed over a check for $10,000 to the nonprofit. What’s particularly cool about this is that employees worked all year, holding bake sales and other fundraising events, in an effort to bolster the nonprofit. Altogether, they raised $5,000 and the bank matched their total.

Verge of bankruptcy A new report by Fitch Ratings, one of the “big three” credit reporting agencies, predicts the potential bankruptcy of seven major retailers over the next two years. Four of them have stores in Chico: Sears Holdings Corp. (which also owns Kmart), Claire’s, 99 Cents Only and Rue21. The report attributes these companies’ demise to competition from online shopping and discount chains like dollar stores and Walmart. Sears announced last week that it will be closing 64 Kmart stores this month, but none of them are in Butte County.