Children’s shop opens in depot
Three area women have worked for weeks to transform the former Tonganoxie railroad depot into a cheerful and bright children's shop.
Kids Depot, which opened Tuesday morning, offers used children's clothing and toys for sale. In addition, the new store sells all types of used equipment for parents of children, including baby beds, strollers, changing tables, walkers and car seats.
The Kids Depot is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
The main room of the depot, Fifth and Main streets, is filled with clothing for children up to 8 years old.
For the past several months, Dianna Towell and her two daughters, Becky Carey and Amanda Stewart, have combed garage sales and sought donated goods for the shop.
Towell operates two Cerebral Palsy Residential Alternative group homes in Basehor and Tonganoxie. And Kids Depot will help residents of those homes both financially and with life skills. For example, residents may not have enough money for toiletries or outings to the movies or bowling. Proceeds from the shop can be used for that.
"The funds will also be used to buy durable equipment wheelchairs, walkers, lifts, maybe even braces," Towell said. "Medicaid and Medicare don't cover everything."
In addition, home residents work on craft items that are sold in the shop, including a quilt that will be raffled. Residents also have made other crafts, such as hair barrettes for children. The proceeds from that work will return directly to the residents who worked on the items, Towell said.
"That way, they have spending money," she said. "They only have $10, $20 or $30 a month to buy, say, shampoo. They're real limited, and I can't afford to buy all of it."
Residents also will help sort clothes that are donated to Kids Depot, which will help fulfill requirements for residents to learn life skills.
Carey said residents of the Basehor and Tonganoxie communities have been generous in making tax-deductible donations to the effort. And even people in Shawnee and Lawrence have helped.
"If it wasn't for the communities, we wouldn't be able to do this," she said.
Once items are donated, the three women carefully review whether they can use the items. Then the cleaning begins.
"We've been doing laundry like wild," Towell said. "We've been impressed with what's been donated."