Saturday, August 02, 2008

Thrift Shop Welcomes Donations, Shoppers

The Secondhand Hope Thrift Shop, conveniently located off Andrew Johnson Hwy at the corner of Hamilton and Old Andrew Johnson Highway, welcomes donations and customers between the hours of 10:00 - 3:00 Tuesday through Saturday. All proceeds from the shop support the work of Hope for Healing.Org as the only 501c3 nonprofit serving all of Strawberry Plains.

What kinds of things can you find?

"Anything." says Summer Coordinator Allie Crabtree. Donations brought to the shop are sorted, tagged, and checked. A small team of dedicated volunteers helps with the process but more are needed.

Shelves are stocked with clothing, glassware, household items and home decor. There are baby strollers, furniture items, books, kids toys and more. Past items have included vanity tops, hub caps and craft items.

The shop serves as a Restorative Justice work site for teenagers who have to give court ordered community service. Some of kids make items that are then offered for sale in the shop. Proceeds go back into the program.

"Jewelry is the most popular item we make." Says Crabtree. "Once they make a few items they're hooked! After the skills are learned here, kids can make jewelry for family or friends, to use as gifts or to sell."

The program is so popular that many of the kids stay on to join other teenage volunteers. Hours accumulated can count for credit in some classes. Skills learned in organizing and teamwork can help kids land sought-after part time jobs.The only problem, according to Crabtree, is in having enough volunteers to operate the shop while staff works with the volunteers one on one.

"Working with the volunteers individually is critical. It helps to identify talents we can use to help our program and we are more likely to be able to teach them something positive. But unfortunately we don't often have the people for that."

For more information, contact:
Hope For Healing.Org
3130 Old Andrew Johnson Hwy
Strawberry Plains, TN 37871
(865) 933-8769

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