Prayers answered for church thrift store

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."

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