Assistance League of Wichita buys former Paradise Antiques space for its thrift store

WICHITA — After looking for new space for the better part of a decade, the Assistance League of Wichita has found it.

The League is more than doubling its resale shop space by moving to 6,000 square feet near Douglas and Grove where Paradise Antiques used to be.

“We have been in our rented building right next to Moler’s Camera shop for 21 years,” says the League’s Helene Longhofer.

That’s at 2611 E. Douglas, just down from where the new shop will be.

The upside of taking so long to find new space is that the League has been able to save to buy the building.

“We’re hoping we can get it paid for in three years,” Longhofer says.

The 28-year-old League is a chapter of the nonprofit national Assistance League.

The local League provides assistance to Wichitans with programs such as Operation School Bell, which provides children with new clothes for school. In the past two years, the program has supplied clothing to more than 4,000 students each year.

The League also gives scholarships to the Wichita Area Technical College and Butler Community College.

The resale shop raises money for the League’s projects.

“We’ve gotten more and more donations, and we’ve just totally run out of room,” Longhofer says.

The shop currently is in 2,600 square feet.

After “some pretty major remodeling,” Longhofer says the new shop will be ready in the spring.

She says the League is especially grateful for the help of Scott Bixler of WDM Architects.

“It’s going to look really, really nice,” Longhofer says.

She says the League also appreciates Lola Mote of Re/Max Realty Professionals, who handled the deal.

The League’s ability to buy and almost immediately pay off the building will help further its work, Longhofer says.

“That’s what we’re so excited about,” she says.

“All the money we raise goes right back into the community.”