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Mission's thrift stores thriving

by Gail Marsh

STAFF WRITER

The staff and volunteers at the Clarksburg Mission's two Thrift Shops don't mind spring cleaning season. In fact, they look forward to it.

"This is the time of year that people clean out their closets and their attics and make donations to the Mission. It's one of our busiest times," said Pastor Tim Heldreth, the Mission's director who oversees the Fourth Street and Pike Street thrift stores.

On Wednesday, volunteers at the Pike Street facility helped to unload a truckload of clothes that came in from West Union. The clothes were sorted and many items were set aside for sale in the thrift shop.

"We have clothes that come in that still have the store tags on them. Clothes of that quality we hold back for sale in the stores," Heldreth said.

The remaining clothes were put through a bailer and tied into 1,000-pound bundles to be shipped overseas to Third World countries.

The bailing operation is a good source of income for the Mission, which receives anywhere from five cents to 15 cents per pound for the used clothing. An addition was added to the Pike Street store to accommodate the donated clothes and the bailing machine.

Heldreth said the store's goal is to send 120,000 pounds per month of clothes to the Canadian processing plant that ships the clothes overseas.

"We're always looking for donations of clothes, shoes, belts, purses, just about any clothing item can be used," he said.

Both thrift stores are staffed by volunteers from the Mission's Women's Auxiliary. In addition to clothing and shoes, the stores sell furniture, small appliances and other household items. Heldreth said the stores probably gave away 500 winter coats last year to people in need.

"We also help people who have had fires or floods or people who have gotten into economic straights and need help getting back on their feet," he said.

Ruth Lindsey, a long-time auxiliary member, said the Mission is always looking for more volunteers.

"It's really a satisfying thing to be able to help people out, and I enjoy staying busy. It's better than staying home alone and doing nothing," she said.

For more information on the thrift stores or the work of Clarksburg Mission, people can contact Heldreth at 622-2451.

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