By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Bishop Thomas Zinkula loves a good deal and appreciates the work of the Catholic Service Board (CSB), so on March 17 he visited the charitable organization’s volunteer-run resale store, Cinderella’s Cellar. Income generated from the shop benefits the Kahl Home in Davenport and other local charities.
During his visit to Cinderella’s Cellar, the bishop eyed a large round wooden table, an unusual wooden figurine and dress shirts that looked new. He asked questions during his guided tour of the cheerfully decorated store where shoppers browsed the racks and shelves for spring clothing, accessories, furnishings, books and more.
In a brief gig as cashier, Bishop Zinkula rang up more laughter than sales, which delighted his volunteer “bosses” and customers. “We love it here,” exclaimed longtime customer Dee Dee Vallejo of Coal Valley, Illinois. “We like the prices and the people are nice,” Mary Vallejo of Moline, Illinois, said.
The store, located at 230 W. 35th St., is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Six CSB co-chairs rotate responsibilities as store managers during open hours. CSB has 95 members, all of whom agree to volunteer at Cinderella’s Cellar. Duties range from sorting, pricing and displaying the merchandise to decorating the store, assisting customers and ringing up sales. The shop accepts donations during business hours. Many donors are regular contributors — and shoppers, too!
“There’s a story behind every box that comes in,” says Rose Hoenig, past president of CSB. She and other volunteers treat items with loving care because they appreciate their donors and shoppers.
Cinderella’s Cellar generates sales averaging more than $100,000 a year, according to CSB records.
From 2016-2020, the resale shop averaged $120,000 annually but more recently, sales have averaged around $87,000 annually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which required periodic, temporarily closures. “We are definitely bouncing back. Sales have improved a lot,” Hoenig said.
CSB has donated more than $300,000 over the past five years, the lion’s share of which benefits the Kahl Home. Among the items the CSB has fulfilled on the Kahl Home wish list over the years are purchase of a bird aviary, a van to take residents on trips, new flooring and equipment for the therapy department.
Catholic women of the Diocese of Davenport founded the Catholic Service Board more than 70 years ago to benefit Catholic Charities. Through the years, its board members have remained committed to enriching and enhancing the lives of others, concentrating on the residents of the Kahl Home since the late 1950s. With the blessing of then-Bishop Gerald O’Keefe, the board opened Cinderella’s Cellar in 1974 at the St. Vincent Center to sell gently used clothing and household items to support their charitable activities. Cinderella’s Cellar moved to its current location in 2004.
CSB members have developed a deep love for Kahl Home residents through regular interaction. Prior to the pandemic, they worked with residents on weekly crafts for the annual bazaar, organized Bingo games, and operated a hospitality cart to deliver snacks and goods for purchase by residents in their rooms. The CSB celebrated a monthly birthday party for Kahl Home residents observing birthdays, organized a monthly pre-dinner cocktail party for residents and families and prepared special luncheons.
When the Kahl Home launched a capital campaign to construct its new facility (completed in 2012), CSB pledged $50,000 toward the new building. In 2012, with completion of that project “the members of our organization were there to help with the move,” according to the CSB history. “When the residents arrived, we were there to greet them and take them to their new rooms.”
Pandemic protocols at the Kahl Home do not allow visits from the CSB at this time, which continues to fund wish list projects and delivery of flowers to residents on their birthdays. “We’re missing going in and seeing residents,” Hoenig said. “They’re so grateful having someone come to see them,” CSB member Nancy Goldsmith added.
(For more information on becoming a member of Catholic Service Board, contact incoming president Stephanie Eckhardt at (563) 210-5059 or firstname.lastname@example.org)