The AMEN House is opening a thrift store and combining it with their clothing ministry.
The store’s grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 10.
The purpose of the thrift store is to help provide funding to the AMEN House, said Michele Carlisle, AMEN House executive director.
“As we launch into our primary mission, which is ending hunger in Scott County, we just came together and tried to be creative, knowing that every time we decide to do something new to fight hunger there is going to be cost associated with that,” she said.
Even with a store in operation, there will still be many opportunities for those in need to get free clothes, Carlisle said.
“We will have these giveaways where anybody can come and take things for free, before school, before winter, and before summer,” said Teri Budde, who manages the clothing ministry.
Carlisle is clear they are prepared to meet needs at other times: “Any emergency that pops up in the in-between will be handled by our social worker, but I can promise you, the answer is yes…if your family needs clothing outside of season, we have a plan for that.”
The giveaway dates will be Aug. 6 to Aug. 20 for back-to-school clothing, Nov. 1 to Nov. 12 for winter clothing, and March 28 to April 8 for summer clothing. There will also be a free prom dress event.
People that regularly need free clothes will also still be provided for, said Budde.
“All of our special groups and homeless, they are not going to have to pay,” Budde said.
The thrift store will be priced at one dollar for children’s clothing and two dollars for adult clothing, with other items individually priced. The thrift store will be open to anyone, according to Carlisle.
“The hope is that the community, alongside our members, will be able to come in and shop side by side, and find some great thrift store deals for their family...generating money that will be turned right back around and invested in ending hunger in Scott County, literally buying food with those dollars,” she said.
Both Carlisle and Budde wanted to be transparent that clothing donations will now be sold as well as being given away, but Budde said the feedback she’s gotten has been positive.
“Most people I’ve talked to are just so thankful that we are going to put the money back into the food pantry,” she said.
Budde mentioned that it is very common for food pantries to have thrift stores.
“Every model we’ve looked at that has a big food pantry also has a thrift store. This is not something new, it’s just new to the AMEN House,” she said.
Carlisle added that the thrift store fits in with their primary mission.
“We are ending hunger in Scott County, this is just an avenue that we think could help that whole mission,” Carlisle said.
The AMEN House and its thrift store is located at 319 E. Main St. beside the First Presbyterian Church. For more information about the AMEN House, visit the website at amenhouse.org, or call 502-863-5305.
Peter Wilson can be reached at email@example.com.