Positively the Heartland: Benson thrift shop helps youth experiencing homelessness

Posted at 7:35 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 08:35:19-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Buying a second-hand sweater instead of a new one can have meaningful environmental impacts.

According to Green Story Inc., a Netherlands-based independent research firm, using its life-cycle assessment tool, a thrifted sweater can reduce carbon, waste, and water footprints by as much as 82%.

However, that's only part of the story at Tip Top Thrift Shop in Benson.

The store is run entirely by volunteers. Since 2011, all of the proceeds have supported youth experiencing homelessness, or who are near-homeless, through Youth Emergency Services (YES).

"I really like the fact they meet the young people where they're at and work to get them where they want to be," said Tracy Wells, who has volunteered at Tip Top for 23 years.

She said they try to thrill shoppers with bargains.

Some examples: Jeans and scrubs are $1, blouses are $3, children's socks are $.25.

And it all adds up, as Barb Farho, development director at YES, explained.

"Last year, over $45,000," she said about money brought in to support programs, compared to covering payroll.

"It's so valuable and we are so thankful for volunteers like Tracy and all of the Tip Top volunteers," she said.

More volunteers are needed. Donors and shoppers are welcome, too.

Tip Top Thrift Shop's hours are limited due to COVID-19. Currently, hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The store is located at 59th and Maple and online at

To connect with Youth Emergency Services, visit

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