Businesswoman consigns for hospice charity

February 16, 2009

By David Hayes

Ankhasha Amenti holds a high school photo of her mom, Mary Morris. Amenti believes her mom’s spirit looks over operations in her consignment store. By David Hayes

Ankhasha Amenti holds a high school photo of her mom, Mary Morris. Amenti believes her mom’s spirit looks over operations in her consignment store. By David Hayes

When a home gets cluttered with items owners no longer have the space or need to retain, disposal is accomplished usually through garage or yard sales, listings in the classifieds or selling via eBay. 

Ankhasha Amenti suggests a third alternative to clearing out your clutter — consignment. And if you consign at her Issaquah store, Ankhasha’s Consignments, there’s the added opportunity of doing it for a good cause. The net proceeds of sales go to the Providence Hospice of Seattle.

“I encourage this, especially if they’ve ever been touched by the kind services of a hospice,” Amenti said.

Normally, items brought to Ankhasha’s that get sold return 50 percent back to the consigner. However, if the items are donated to the store, 100 percent of proceeds are donated to the hospice. 

Amenti said she figures only about one of 25 consigners donate their used items.“Even so, last year, we raised more than $15,000 for the hospice,” Amenti said. “Honestly, I’d like to see the percentage of donors increase.”

Even items that are not donated can generate funds for the hospice. Amenti said items brought in for consignment are given 90 days to sell at a fair price she works out with the consigner. After 90 days, the items then become property of Ankhasha’s and are marked at a steep discount. Any funds generated from these discounted items all go to the hospice.

For those uncertain of taking the consignment route to charity, she suggested thinking of it another way — taxes.

“Many people don’t seem to understand how the tax write-off works,” she said. “If you try to sell these items at a garage sale, you’d be lucky to get a fraction of their value. But if you donate them to charity, you get 100 percent, or even 50 percent, tax write-off.”

Amenti has good reason to be this passionate about fundraising for hospice. 

“Hospice helped me and my family so much I chose to do this as a service,” she said. “I have a strong sense of karma.”

Both her best friend and mother used hospice services. Amenti keeps a high school graduation photo of her mother at the service counter of her store.

“She’s my little guardian here at the store,” she said. “I know she’d be pleased.”

Amenti first approached a hospice service while living in Minneapolis, with a consignment partnership, which lasted from 1998 to 2002.

When she moved to Seattle, she sought the same arrangement with Providence Hospice of Seattle. 

“I think they are overwhelmed with how well it’s gone,” she said.

Actually, Gary Crum, director of the hospice, admitted his first reaction, like hearing any first-time proposal regarding an untested fundraising effort, was skepticism. 

“But after hearing how dedicated to hospice Ankhasha was, my skepticism quickly turned to enthusiasm,” he said.

Crum said that Providence Hospice, in its service to all of King County, served 50 people from the Issaquah area last year.

To further encourage more consignment options and participation in the hospice program, Amenti is offering new programs at Ankhasha’s. 

“First, we are launching April 1 consigning women’s gently used clothing, with my type of flair,” she said, alluding to her years in the fashion industry, where she developed a unique style and eye for design.

Second, Ankhasha’s will offer regular chocolate tastings.

“We’ll be offering chocolate from all over the world, some small you’ve never hear of, others renowned and still others with an exclusive arrangement to offer their chocolate just here,” she said.

So, whether, you stop by Ankhasha’s for the newest flavor in chocolate or to bring by old items that you no longer use, Amenti said she hopes it all leads to more money for the hospice.

“I encourage everyone to donate to the hospice, especially if you’re settling an estate,” she said. “It’s a way of letting things go from loved ones and know it’s going to a good cause.”

Reach Reporter David Hayes at 392-6434, ext. 237, or dhayes@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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