Ecker Center for Mental Health - Hope, Recovery and well Being

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A History of Shop & Share

Shop and Share  - Resale Store Shop & Sahare is the resale shop that supports the Ecker Center. In 1976, Ceil Ober, a member of the Board of Directors of the Fox Valley Mental Health Center, later renamed the Ecker Center for Mental Health, formed the Shop & Share resale store. The original shop was located in an old house on East Chicago Street in Elgin and was established to help solve the financial problems of the Ecker Center. Gifts of money to pay the rent came from people such as Dellora Norris, who founded Delnor Hospital and Harry Seigle. Gifts of clothes racks and tables came from John Spiess and Chuck Hines, owners of prominent Elgin clothiers at the time.

Mrs. Ober recruited enough volunteers, many of whom lived in Wayne, to operate the shop. In 1978 Karen Sinnett became the new chairperson and the shop relocated first above Chuck Hines’s store, then, when it needed more space, to its present location at 76 South Grove Avenue near Fountain Square Plaza.

Volunteers painted, cleaned floors, put up walls and racks, made draperies and curtains and bought furniture for the new quarters.

They created fitting rooms and three consignment rooms. The success of Shop & Share enabled the organization to help the Ecker Center in many ways, including the purchase of a van.

Two members of the founding group still volunteer for Shop & Share—Barb Gardon and Helen Scheflow. The current chairperson, Anne Lyon, heads a group of thirty-six volunteers, six of whom hold office in the organization. Shop & Share contributes not only cash to the Ecker Center, but also a great deal of clothing and household items for the use of Ecker clients.

The Ecker Center for Mental Health is very fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers at the Shop and Share store whose entire efforts are focused upon helping the Ecker Center thrive.