A favorite thrift store for those in Winter Garden is closing its doors. New Beginnings of Central Florida, located in the Winter Garden
Regional Shopping Center, will be wrapping up business at the end of the month.

New Beginnings is a non-profit that works to get people back on their feet. They offer services like housing, food, clothing, professional
mentoring and job opportunities.

The three thrift stores New Beginnings operates serve as a way to fundraise for these programs, but costs associated with the lease at
the Winter Garden space have gotten too high. The executive director of the Clermont-based non-profit, Stephanie Harris, cited rising real
estate costs across Central Florida as an issue for charities like
hers.

New Beginnings is trying to relocate nearby, either in Winter Garden, Ocoee or Windermere. Board members are currently looking for space
around 2,900 square feet with rent costs not exceeding $5,000 a month.

They are also considering opening a boutique that would be smaller and feature some of their newer items. In the meantime, New Beginnings is
selling everything at a 50% discount until they close on March 27.

The remaining merchandise will go to stores in Clermont and Kissimmee and volunteers and staff will also have an opportunity to work out of
one of those locations. Even without a physical location, they will continue to have a presence in the Winter Garden community by working
with the West Orange Neighborhood Center and other local businesses and churches.

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    Anthony

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