PERU - The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store has a new location - and it's one not far from its old one.
The thrift store - which has been in operation for more than 30 years in a building adjacent to the St. Augustine's Church on Main Street - has moved across the street next to the church's parish center grounds where the St. Augustine's annual Applefest is traditionally held.
Thrift store coordinator Jane Woods said the ever-increasing number of customers served by the store combined with the very limited display and storage space in the original store was what prompted the move.
"We really needed to have something bigger and better," said Woods.
The sale of the building from owner Andrew R. Garcia of Grass Valley, Calif., to the church was made official Feb. 18, though the move, initially took place in mid-January, said Woods. The move was one that more than doubled the amount of usable space for the store, she said, and, through the work of a dedicated group of volunteers, the six-room house was completely refurbished to make room for the store.
"We had to strip the floors and paint. We put insulation in the back sorting room - all kinds of things. It needed a lot of work," said Woods. "It still has more to do. Every day, somebody's doing something there."
The move itself took only one day, said Woods, with the store's inventory, racks and other items easily transported across the street.
"It's given us so much more space," she said. "It's made it much easier for the volunteers to do their work."
The added benefit has been room for a washer and dryer to help clean the clothes before they're sold, added Woods.
"In the other facility, we had nothing to do that with," she said. "So, our volunteers would bring them home to wash them and bring them back."
Those volunteers are what has made the thrift store a success in general for the past three decades and what will make it a success for years to come in the new location, said Woods.
"As with any task, the more hands we have to do the work, the better the operation will be," said Woods, who added volunteers are always needed. "We are hopeful these vast improvements in the new store will attract many more volunteers, both women and men."
Those interested in volunteering, making donations or more information about the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store may contact Woods at 834-5324. The store - located at 3028 Main St. - is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday though Friday; 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday; and additionally from 7-9 p.m. Thursday evenings.
According to Woods, the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store has served more than 3,950 customers and collected more than $16,400 in monetary donations over the last 12 months. The monetary donations are entrusted to the Rev. Alan Shnob, who oversees the charitable fund account used to defray the stores operating costs and for additional assistance to families in need.
The good works of the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store are possible "because of the overwhelming charitable offerings from the community and the small group of dedicated volunteers" who serve the store's mission to help others, said Woods.