ELIZABETHTOWN - The E-town Thrift Shop has now been operating for a full year, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.
The store opened on the second floor of the Deer's Head Inn in November 2008, and has been helping to support the community ever since.
It is jointly operated by volunteers from four local churches: The Elizabethtown United Church of Christ, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, and the Lewis Congregational Church.
In its first year of business, the store was able to raise more than $3,500 for each of the four churches by selling donated items at discount prices.
In addition, the store passed on more than $700 worth of clothing donations to other community organizations for families in need.
Organizational volunteer Janis Rock thanked the owners of the Deer's Head, Joanne and Matt Baldwin, Joyce Bethlehem, and Rob and Karin DeMuro, for allowing the store to operate there for the past year at no cost.
"They have been more than generous," said Rock, "and they are letting us stay in here for a second year rent-free."
The space includes four separate rooms and a hallway, all of which offer clothes, tools, toys, books, and many other household items to shoppers.
Rock said that many patrons to the store have complimented its orderliness and ease of use.
"I think that reflects that we're a Christian organization and that we try to keep things clean and comfortable for people who shop here," said volunteer Sharon Martin.
Two rooms have been set aside at the UCC fellowship hall to store and sort donated items, and another room at St. Elizabeth's Parish Hall is used for storage in the winter.
Rock noted that the store will be looking for a larger space as it continues to expand with more donations and volunteers. She would also like to see it operate in a ground-floor space with handicap access.
"We can't stay here forever, and the people here know that," Rock said.
A total of about 70 volunteers from all four churches each spend at least two hours per month helping to operate the store and sort donated items. Rock said students from Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School have also volunteered, but she'd like to see more young people get involved.
"Our goal is to keep going," said Rock; "to keep helping the community."
The E-town Thrift Store's winter hours are Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 3-5 p.m. The store will not be accepting item donations during the months of December, January, or February.