MOOERS FORKS - About a year ago, members of the Mooers United Methodist Church began thinking about having a thrift store in the area. Now, their dreams have come to fruition.
On Jan. 10, an estimated 100 people from Mooers Forks and surrounding communities attended the grand opening of the Souled Out Thrift Store, located at 20 Blackman Road, also known as the old Agway building.
"Jack Dragoon offered this building [in the fall]," explained organizer Dee Johnson. "He offered us this building rent free for a year to use and see where we are after a year."
The parishioners saw a need for the thrift store due to the current economy.
"In the Mooers area, there's very little outreach for community members for something like this," explained Johnson, "and if you see any of our recent news, national news, you see the thrift stores are growing in popularity."
Johnson's mother, Cora Smith, agreed with her daughter.
"Our mission is to reach out ... to the community to know that we're here for them if there's a need," she explained.
The store offers gently-used clothing for all ages and sizes, for $1-2 a piece, with some special items going for $5-10.
"What we're doing here is going to help the community," said Johnson. "A percentage of what we make here will help with operations. A percentage will help go maybe toward [a nonprofit organization]."
The entire store is run on a volunteer basis. It will be open every Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teams of two volunteers will take care of the store weekly.
The building was also fixed up by volunteers - from a new ceiling to shampooing the carpets, painting the inside and outside of the building, and putting up shelves.
"It's been a church community working together," said Smith.
The thrift store also has been receiving donations of food, with help from Ellenburg Center residents Kristie and David Rath.
The Raths, who collect day-old baked goods from Plattsburgh stores, dropped off a table-full of bread from Panera Bread in Plattsburgh for the grand opening.
"Hopefully, it's going to become a weekly thing where they give us [bread] and we give out any leftovers ... and distribute them to the community," said Johnson.
If interested in giving any donation of clothing, currently the store is accepting all gently-used clothing when they are open. They are especially in need of infant clothing, clothes for little girls, and winter clothing and snowsuits.
"It's the perfect location," said Johnson. "The only other place that's really in the area is St. Mary's [in Champlain]. So, this helps people in Ellenburg all the way down to Mooers."
"It's proven to be a perfect spot," Smith added. "Today was phenomenal."
For more information, contact the Rev. Al Johnson at email@example.com or call him at 236-7129 before 7 p.m. The thrift store also has a fan page on Facebook.