Thrift store to benefit Bethesda Health Clinic

Published on Wednesday, 3 July 2013 19:29 - Written by BY REBECCA HOEFFNER rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

A new thrift store is expected to open in September that will benefit the Bethesda Health Clinic.

“The economy changes so easily, and we want to have a diversity of income,” said Dr. John English, executive director of the nonprofit faith-based clinic that was established to provide affordable health care to working uninsured adults.

The store will be at 3500 S. Broadway Ave., where LifeWay Christian Bookstore used to be located.

The store is the project of the Bethesda Alliance, the nonprofit’s auxiliary group. The alliance has more than 130 members who have logged more than 440 hours of volunteer work in preparation for the store.

“It’s not going to be your typical thrift store atmosphere,” said Joyce Arrington, Bethesda Alliance representative and thrift store coordinator.

Mrs. Arrington said they are planning for the store to have boutique and reading sections.

The store will be open until 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Donors to the store will be able to drive up to the building and have an employee take things from their vehicle.

More than 70 names were suggested in a Facebook contest, and the end result was a combination of two: “Hangers of Hope: A Thrift Store on a Mission.”

The winners, Shane McWha and Sandy Bristow, were announced on June 26 and will get to shop before the store opens to the public. There is also a Facebook contest to design the logo that ends on Monday.

Bethesda expects to see more than 20,000 patients next year, and has an annual budget of $1.4 million. The thrift store will be on its own budget, English said.

Some unique furniture and several barrels full of merchandise already have been donated, said Teri Sawyer, Bethesda Alliance president. Things that aren’t beneficial in the store will be used in other ways, donated to other organizations that can use them.

“So many people say, ‘I like to know my money is going to the clinic,’” Mrs. Arrington said.

Email Diane Thomasondthomason@bethesdaclinic.org or call 903-596-8353 if you have items to donate.