I remember when you had to drive pretty far away to find a thrift store, and when you got there, you were usually disappointed. Often just a hodge-podge of trinkets, old clothes, and well, just junk, many thrift stores earned their reputation.
Luckily, our community has numerous clean and organized thrift stores, and the proceeds go to support many wonderful organizations and causes. Two of my favorite ones are The Place and the new No Longer Bound thrift store.
In case you are new to our community, The Place of Forsyth County has been here since 1975, serving those in need of emergency assistance. Its mission is, “To listen compassionately to those deprived of basic needs, and together with them, find creative ways to alleviate their suffering.”
Sandy Beaver, the executive director of The Place, is someone who cares about those who are suffering among us. Sandy does a great job bringing attention to the fact that there are so many people who need our help — and they may even be your neighbor.
Besides operating a food pantry, serving a complimentary Wednesday noon meal, and offering numerous services to those in need The Place also has a large thrift store.
The store sells furniture, books, household accessories, luggage and clothing and there are always new things when you come to shop. This happens, by the way, because our community is so generous when it comes to donating. Your trash is someone else’s treasure.
I also love that the thrift store has an e-mail list and sends special offers all of the time. I recently found a perfectly good chest of drawers that was a reasonable $25. Those are the deals that keep you coming back.
No Longer Bound is another wonderful organization that does terrific work by helping men break free from addictions. Over the years, I have been privileged to meet and get to know several men who have gone through the program. To hear their stories and see how they have changed their lives is powerful.
These brave men have come from a pit of despair and have restored relationships with family, friends and most importantly, God. Their stories are as inspiring as they are compelling.
The Forsyth County No Longer Bound campus is in the Shiloh community, and that is where the thrift store used to be, along with its Cars for Recovery garage, print shop, wood shop and greenhouse.
I was excited when they decided to relocate the thrift store right in the heart of Cumming. The store is bright, well organized, and also has some really good buys. I recently got a nice floor lamp for one of my children for $4. I also found some great wall art for my daughter, as well as a terrific coffee table to help decorate her new apartment.
If you have college-age children I recommend shopping in thrift stores, but I find things for myself all of the time.
In addition, NLB has a wood shop where the men create tables out of old barns. These tables are like works of art and would look wonderful in any home. And get this, if you have an old barn on your property, the NLB folks will come out, tear it down, make sure your land is clear, and then you can donate the wood to their wood shop. Guess what they charge you? Nothing. Contact NLB for more information about this unique service.
Besides shopping at these thrift stores, why not participate in the organizations’ upcoming fundraisers?
The Place is having its inaugural run/walk at 8 a.m. May 19. Besides the 5K, 10K and 1K Fun Run, there will also be vendors on site and free chair massages.
In addition, Home Depot will be on site cooking healthy hot dogs and handing them out for free. I am not sure what a healthy hot dog is, so I am definitely going to be there to check that out.
Everybody who enters receives a free T-shirt and is entered to win a $150 gift card. Please consider participating. You can sign up on www.theplaceofforsyth.com or www.active.com
No Longer Bound is holding its 17th Annual Freedom Four Man Scramble Golf Tournament in Dahlonega on May 21. There are still spots open to play.
I heard there are going to be many prizes, give-aways, games as well as food. You can find out more and register at www.nolongerbound.com.
We are all so blessed to live in a community with so many organizations that strive to help others. Please help support these and all of the other nonprofit groups in our county by shopping in the thrift stores and attending the fundraisers.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at email@example.com.