Weare thrift shop closesBy Kathy Remillard firstname.lastname@example.org August 30. 2013 10:53AM
According to Peggy Bailey, who helped open the store in 2010 and served as the Weare Food Pantry’s director until last month, a lack of both profit and volunteers contributed to the closure.
“We couldn’t get enough people to volunteer,” Bailey said. “People got burned out.”
Bailey said she’d hoped that a local church would take over the shop, but no other organization came forward with an offer.
In addition, with an average profit of about $300 a month after expenses, including heat and $1,500 in rent, Bailey said it was tough to justify remaining open.
In a note on the shop’s Facebook page, Bailey thanked those who supported the organization, but said it was time to focus more on connecting with clients and meeting their needs.
“Volunteering is a big commitment, and we sure had the best of the best,” she said.
One volunteer, who asked not to be named, said she will miss the people who came to the store to drop off donations or to shop.
“It was fun,” she said. “A lot goes on here – it was more than just a thrift shop to me.”
The closure will make way for a new nonprofit organization, to be called Hand in Hand Ministries.
In addition to the food pantry, the new organization will address other community needs, but Bailey said it is too early to tell what those needs are.
The ministry is in the process of acquiring 501(c)3 status, which Bailey hopes will attract more funding for the food pantry and charitable endeavors in the form of grants and other financial support.
“There should be a group in town that sees something happen and says, oh, there’s a need to fill,” Bailey said. “There is a lot of need, but we’re trying to get a grasp on the who, where and how.”
Currently, the elderly, homebound and handicapped top the list of citizens Bailey hopes to reach out to.
“I think there are a lot of people we’re not reaching,” she said.
Bailey stressed that the food pantry, which serves about 100 families a month, will remain open from 5 to 7 p.m. each Wednesday at Weare Middle School.
“The food pantry is still open,” Bailey said, and donations can be dropped off at the middle school or at the Pelletier Realty Group on Woodbury Road.