Thrift Store finds new home

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

The Grant County Thrift Store has found a new home on U.S. 25 in Williamstown in the former Butternut Bread Store location.

“We’re very happy with our new home,” said Sue Franco.

The store moved from behind Grant County Drugs on Barnes Road to 1398 N. Main in Williamstown.

The thrift store, which opened in March 2009, is operated by Helping Hands, a coalition of local churches, who provide food, clothing and other assistance to families in need. The nice, better quality items that are donated to Helping Hands are sent to the Thrift Store where they are sold for a nominal fee. The proceeds from the thrift store are then used to buy bulk food, which is distributed monthly.

According to Rev. Will Jones, who is a director of Helping Hands, the need for assistance has grown and the thrift store allows Helping Hands to meet that ever-increasing demand for food.

“We were buying 10,000 pounds of food a month and as of November 2010, we’re purchasing 15,000 pounds because we’ve got families who need the help,” Jones said.

The new location will give more visibility and is larger than the previous one.

“The thrift store has been a success and because we were overcrowded where we were it was a good time to expand what we were doing,” Jones said.

The Grant County Thrift Store will also expand its hours. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sue and her husband, John Franco are the new directors of the Thrift Store.

“We had just been helping and then they asked us to be the directors, so we said we’d give it a try,” said John, who volunteered in a food ministry when the couple lived in Florida.

After moving to Grant County a few years ago, they began attending Family Worship Center in Williamstown where they learned of Helping Hands and the thrift store.

“We’re excited about being here,” Sue said. “It’s such a good location.”

Jones said there were about 20 churches who participated in Helping Hands, but there were always opportunities for more as well as the need for more volunteers.

“Helping Hands can always use more help and more hands,” he said.