Click to Visit
Boundary News
[E-mail story]  [Print story]
Posted: May 4, 2009  09:41

One Person's Trash is Another Person's Treasure at Community Thrift Store


Pam Reoch And Bob North Enjoy Their Work At Community Thrift Store.

One of the unsung heroes of Boundary County is Community Thrift Store. For 22 years, the Seventh Day Adventist Church-owned thrift store has been a vital philanthropic organization that has helped countless people in times of need as well as providing a viable economic option for acquiring necessary items for many families in the county.

"The money we make from the donations is what allows us to do this for people," said Pam Reoch, manager of Community Thrift Store. "We just try to help out people when we can."

Pam said that in addition to contributing to the Cornerstone Christian School, Community Thrift assists many other projects that Boundary County citizens might not be aware of. She explained that when there is a house fire, the families are invited to supply themselves with clothing and bedding at no charge. Pam also gives these families a voucher to Boundary Trading Company where they can get personal hygiene products at no cost as well. She said that Community Thrift Store helps people with gas money to get to out-of-town medical appointments. The store also offers children's clothing at half price for families on state assistance and foster families. In addition, Community Thrift Store has extended vouchers to families who are low on groceries or need help with utility bills. The Extended Care Unit at Boundary Community Hospital also benefits from Community Thrift Store's generosity, said Pam. She donates clothing to residents who have no family to help them out.

"Quite a few agencies call me to help out if they have people who don't fit their criteria," she said. "I work with the people at the Department of Health and Welfare as well as the Department of Labor. We have helped people get training for jobs if the Department of Labor doesn't have the resources. Also, I don't sell cell phones. I take them to the Victim's Services Office to give to the clients to use for emergencies. All the donated glasses go to Dr. Barker to be distributed through the Lion's Club for people who can't afford glasses. If I get a donation of food or baby formula, I take it to the food bank."

Pam said that for the last two years, Community Thrift Store had donated a wreath and a tree to the Festival of Trees. She said that it was fun to decorate the tree almost entirely with items that had been donated to the store. She said they picked out "the best of the best" ornaments that had been donated and the tree earned $1,000 for the Fry Healthcare Foundation.

One might think that the items in a thrift store would be dingy, dirty and worn out, but that is not at all the case. Pam and her staff take great care to clean all the donations. Every item is washed and in working order before it goes on the floor. All the clothing is washed or refreshed, sanitized and steamed before it goes on hangers. They do alterations or repairs on items if they can. The shoes are sanitized with the same sanitizer they use for shoes at the bowling alley. It is very important to Pam and her staff that Community Thrift Store is clean, organized, well lit and smells good. Pam also said that they get many new, never-been-used items donated as well. She cited an example where four wedding dresses were recently donated that had only been worn once by models at a bridal show.

"There are a lot of people in our community who can only afford thrift store items, so I keep my clothing prices down. The other items are priced at about 25% of their retail value. We're really grateful when people donate nice, current style clothing because many people can only afford to buy their kids' school clothes here," she said.

The people who efficiently run Community Thrift Store are Bob North, Noni Blackford, Karen Drechsel, Tony Onstott and Debbie Esselbach. Pam also lauds the dedicated volunteers who regularly give of their time and energy. They are Jay and Eileen Lantry, Mary Sue Taft, Nicki Fullerton and Gail Reoch.

"My crew does a fantastic job," said Pam. "We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers."
Pam estimated that Community Thrift Store receives about a truckload of donations a day, especially on Mondays when people drop off items that did not sell at yard sales. She said that there are two bins, one on each end of the building, for donations, but that it is OK to leave larger donations near the doors if it is after business hours. She said that the store is open every day except Saturday, and emphasized that people who steal the donations before they make it into the store are robbing all the many people and programs that are funded by Community Thrift Store.

"We appreciate all the donations," said Pam. "We couldn't have been here for 22 years without them. We also appreciate the people who shop here. We're part of this community, and try to do anything we can do to help each other. That's what we're here for, right?"

Community Thrift Store is located at 6778 Main Street and can be reached at 267-5359.


Comment on this article
submissions are subject to publication
(100 words maximum)

More Headlines...


Article Search

Please support our
sponsors, click here
to purchase items on
  Featured Ads
Click to Visit
Click to Visit
Click to Visit

Created by

Site, images and content copyright © 1999-2018 by, Inc. All rights reserved.

DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript