LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – A Lubbock business is closing down after more than half a century in the community. During that time, it’s served those who have served our country. The Disabled American Veterans store at 13th St. and Buddy Holly Ave. has served the Lubbock community and its veterans for more than 50 years but just like many other mom and pop shops, COVID has forced its doors to close for good.
“If it’s not making any money it’s just not worth it,” owner David Butts said.
That wasn’t always the case for the DAV thrift store in downtown Lubbock. It was originally operated by a veteran family who Butts got to know well.
“I’d always tell him, ‘I love this place and I want to work here’, he says, ‘yeah but I can’t afford you’,” Butts said.
He said when the last family member retired there was no one left to take it over.
“He asked me if I’d take it over and I did, and I don’t regret it but it’s been a journey,” Butts said.
He took over the thrift store just two months before the pandemic struck. The store then had to shut down for two months and business took a turn downhill.
“You can’t tell the future. Money’s tight. People can’t even afford to shop here,” he said.
The store is in partnership with the local DAV chapter and once the bills were paid, it’s profit has benefitted Disabled American Veterans since the doors opened.
“This place has given the vets over $400,000 over the years and they’re just not getting any money now,” Butts said.
He said the purpose of this store is to help veterans and now that it’s not fully serving that purpose, Butts has made the difficult decision to close up shop.
“Its hurting a lot of people,” he said.
Although he is not a veteran himself, his father is, and that is why the store is so special to him.
“Its important to me, those people are why we’re here. We have nobody else to thank but those people,” he said.
Butts said at this point it would take a miracle to save the store.
“I tried, I really did.”
The store will close just before Christmas. Until then, everything is 50 percent off and Butts said the store is unique because you never know what treasure you might find.
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