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Jerry Balogh wants to make a deal — all the prices are negotiable.

If you don’t know the store is there, you might just drive right on by the local used building supply and resale shop at 616 Memory Lane. “It’s Brookings’ best-kept secret,” says Jerry Balogh, store manager for Curry Community Cares.

The entrance is unassuming, as you drive in through the open gates into the cyclone-fenced yard to a nondescript metal building. The entrance for customers is around the side. Donations are straight ahead.

It’s a treasure hunters’ dream come true—and likewise for someone who is trying to downsize their belongings. The store willingly accepts cans of paint as long as the cans are in good condition and in original containers.

Donations come in constantly, as witnessed by the doorbell going off. “The doorbell rings all day long,” Balogh said. “It never stops.”

The stuff moves in and out of the building as fast as it arrives. In addition to building supplies, they get plenty of furniture, tools, dishware, light fixtures and knick-knacks. Notably, they have an impressive number of cookbooks, going for 40 cents each.

In the back room is a potpourri of miscellaneous hardware, from cabinet hinges and doorknobs to electrical boxes and wire and plumbing supplies galore — an entire plumbing store donated its inventory after closing down. Boxes of tile, enough in each lot to do a small job and sometimes a large job, are stacked along the floor. An impressive assortment of doors, from pre-hung to solid wood, to closet doors, bifold, trifold and louvered, line the back wall.

“You’d be surprised what’s in here,” Balogh said. “Men love to come in here and search for things for hours.”

Outside the back of the store, are stacks of windows leaning against the fence.

“We sell a lot of windows,” Balough said. “Half of them are new; the other half are used. I don’t take them unless they can be put back in.” 

Plus you’ll find kitchen sinks, vanity sinks, bathtubs and toilets, plus mailboxes and every kind of pipe you could need: ABS, PVC, PEX and perforated.

“People give us whole houses,” he said.

They do have a list of items they don’t accept, including fluorescent light or fixtures, chemicals, hazardous materials, garage doors, gas and propane appliances, mattresses or broken items. Other items are not accepted if they don’t sell well in the store or they have a surplus on hand, as is the case currently with toilets.

If you don’t find what you are looking for, chances are you just didn’t look hard enough or it’s already gone. But if you ask, Balogh knows exactly what he has. If it’s not there, he’ll take down your number because everything shows up, sooner or later.

“All the prices are negotiable,” Balogh said. “How can we charge a lot of money for something if we didn’t pay anything for it?”

The proceeds go to a unique program that gives grants to seniors and others to make health- and safety-related home repairs they cannot afford. Repairs might be jobs like installing shower bars, building ramps, replacing broken windows, repairing or replacing toilets, fixing steps and repairing leaky roofs. All repairs are made by licensed contractors.

The store is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Jerry Balogh at 541-251-0740.

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