She and her teen-age daughter had escaped a domestic violence situation. She entered a domestic violence program that helped her find an apartment she could afford. She had found employment providing enough income to pay her rent, and her daughter had a part-time job to help with expenses. She even had no debt.
Her problem? She had only bare floors in her apartment. She had no extra money to buy furniture and the other items needed to make her residence a real home. A recommendation to try GraceWorks led her to our door. While not very expectant, she was curious to see what was available.
What she found was like a child coming upon a candy store. A plethora of furniture and other household items awaited her choices at the GraceWorks Thrift Store. Staff gave her several vouchers, and she wandered through the aisles bursting with items to complete her home.
She was given bedding, dishes, a table and chairs and a couch. Her domestic violence program gave her free delivery to her new apartment the day she was scheduled to move into it.
Marilyn’s experience is not unique at GraceWorks. A total of 590 Thrift Store vouchers were given to Neighbors such as Marilyn in the past fiscal year at a value of $60,591.
Indeed, donations of used clothing, furniture, appliances and household items to the GraceWorks Thrift Store have a triple impact on helping our Neighbors in need.
First, each dollar spent in the Thrift Store provides 88 cents to support GraceWorks’ core programs of Food, Shelter and Support. Item donors and shoppers taking advantage of our well-kept and low costs are directly responsible for that bounty.
The sharply discounted prices are also a boon to low-income families by allowing them to purchase clothing for their children or for job interviews and employment. Tables, chairs, couches, dishes, pots and pans, lamps and appliances to provide a comfortable and livable home.
And, for families who cannot afford even discounted prices, Neighbor Services gives vouchers for store goods. Children receive free clothing for school, families can get a free washer or a table and chairs allowing them to eat together – items many families take for granted.
When cleaning out closets and homes as the holidays, and extra company, approach, GraceWorks asks the community to remember the Thrift Store and the triple impact donations and shopping provide to families in need. Information about pickup of large items, requirements and hours is available at https://www.graceworkstn.org/donate/items/.
*GraceWorks does not reveal actual names to preserve confidentiality.