New manager leads Main Street Thrift Store in Albion with push to offer more at site

Photos by Ginny Kropf: (Left) Teri Lester, who works at the Main Street Store, shows a rustic cabinet which was donated. (Right) Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, sits at her daughter’s piano that has been donated to the Main Street Store.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 August 2022 at 11:32 am

ALBION – The Main Street Thrift Store run by Community Action of Orleans County is much more than a thrift store.

It is a place to buy affordable and stylish clothing. It is a site to furnish a home, do gift shopping, get help for a struggling student, enroll in a credit recovery class and receive coaching in how to apply for job. With new donations and a new manager, the Main Street Store is poised to offer even more.

Cassie Eagle, who formerly taught the credit recovery classes, has assumed the role of manager after the retirement of Michelle George in late spring. While Eagle is currently on maternity leave, she has a list of plans for when she returns, said her mother, Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee.

Hungerford set the ball rolling when she decided to donate her daughter Cheyenna Eagle’s piano to the Main Street Store. It has created quite a stir among customers in the store, especially those with musical ability.

“All kinds of people are sitting down and playing it,” Hungerford said. “Some of them are quite good.”

Hungerford bought the piano when Cheyenna was 4. She has since gone on to become a music therapist and just accepted a job in the Oncology Department of Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I had been holding on to the piano thinking some day Cheyenna would want it,” Hungerford said. “But now she has moved away and can’t take it.”

After Hungerford decided to donate it to the Main Street Store, she started getting cold feet.

“The morning they were going to pick it up, I had a hard time letting it go,” she said. “But two days later I was looking online for information about the Farmers’ Market and there were videos of people playing the piano.”

The piano is not for sale, and a sign on it says, “Play me. (Adults).”

Members of the Leadership Orleans class toured the Main Street Store at 131 South Main St. in Albion on Thursday.

The piano has prompted thoughts of giving music lessons at the Main Street Store, if a music teacher can be found. Another visitor who teaches guitar, mandolin and banjo indicated he might also be interested in giving lessons there.

Cassie Eagle would also like to start craft classes at the store.

The store is always looking for volunteers. The Leadership Orleans class stopped by the store on Thursday when their day was focused on volunteerism. A member of the class is Katrina Chaffee, director of community services (which includes volunteerism) and reporting for Community Action, and arranged for the class to tour the store. Anyone who is interested in volunteering at the store can contact Chaffee at (585) 589-5605.

The store is also experimenting with expanded hours. They are currently open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and until 7 p.m. on selected Fridays.