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New thrift store to benefit the

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.

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