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The Cubby increases security efforts to protect donations

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The owners of The Cubby Thriftstores, LLC recently installed security cameras outside their Presque Isle and Caribou locations in hopes of preventing potential theft and damage of donations left outside. 

Owners Cindy and Chris Johnson said that often they and staff have come to the stores in the morning and found boxes and bags ripped open and many items, especially clothing, stolen or damaged to the point that they cannot be sold.

The couple noted that they do not want to discourage individuals from bringing donations but instead recommend that they drop off items inside the store during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Presque Isle Cubby is located at 377 Main Street while the Caribou store is at 40 Sweden Street.

“We’re very grateful to members of the community for providing donations and supporting our cause,” Cindy Johnson said. “We hate to see items that people have given out of the goodness of their heart destroyed.”

The Cubby accepts donated clothing, footwear, toys, appliances, beds, TVs, books, furniture, jewelry and other items, with proceeds from sales going toward their Cubby Gives program, which provides financial support to families with children experiencing chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The funds can cover needs such as food, travel and lodging, medical equipment and the installation of wheelchair ramps.

The limited liability corporation also recycles thousands of pounds of clothes annually to be used by a New England-based company for humanitarian efforts and collects aluminum tab tops to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children. In 2017, they raised over $15,000 for nonprofits throughout the state of Maine.

Through greater security, the Johnsons hope that to better manage incidents that do occur and ensure that donations become less susceptible to damage from weather and potential theft.

“It’s hard for us to manage all the incidents, especially when they occur at night when we’re not open,” Chris Johnson said. “We encourage people to come during regular hours because we’ve found that even when we’re open people have ransacked boxes that are left outside.”

“What we ultimately want to do is protect the community’s investment in The Cubby so that we can continue to help those in need,” he said.

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