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From 27-inch TVs to wheelchairs and clothing, Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley’s thrift store has it all.
“I think the timing was perfect because of the economy,” said Hugh Cating, PCHCV director of planned giving. “People need a little extra help.”
PCHCV’s thrift store, located on U.S. 321 near Ham’s restaurant, opened July 6. The PCHCV Board of Directors entertained the idea of a thrift store for awhile, Cating said, and they finally decided to take the plunge several months ago.
“It’s phenomenal,” said Cating of the public’s response to the new store. “This organization has touched so many other organizations in this community, and people want to give back.”
The 10,000-square-foot store sells clothes, jewelry, furniture, house wares and medical equipment – all at discount prices.
“I was worried at first,” Cating said. “I thought, ‘What if we can’t fill up the warehouse with items?’ But it’s stocked. The community has just been wonderful.”
The store has about 8,000 square feet of showroom space and the remaining 2,000 square feet are reserved for warehouse storage.
When the store opened, PCHCV received a donation of more than 100 27-inch color TVs.
“I thought we were going to be selling TVs through Christmas, but we sold out within five weeks,” Cating said.
PCHCV rents the building from MDI, and the store already had large signs in place for advertising.
“It’s great because when you’re driving down (U.S.) 321, the signs just jump out at you,” Cating said.
Many families turn to the PCHCV thrift store after the death of a loved one as a way to clear out belongings while benefiting the community, too.
“When kids move away from their parents, there may just be a few things that they want from their parents’ house after their death,” Cating said. “We’re very flexible with families and their needs.”
Clothing is a commonly donated item, but larger medical equipment, like beds and wheel chairs, are also popular.
“Because of what (PCHCV) does, a lot of what we get donated is medical equipment,” Cating said.
Just like the items the store sells, the people who visit the thrift store come from a variety of backgrounds.
Even Cating found a few gems in the thrift store, including a boat anchor and an entertainment center for his TV at a fraction of its original cost.
The thrift store doesn’t currently accept large appliances.
A donation pickup service is available for larger items, and donors can schedule the pickup by calling (828) 267-9894.
“We had one gentleman that said, ‘You can have everything in the house if you’re here by 10 a.m.,’” Cating said, “and we were there.”
The thrift store is still in its infancy, but Cating said he hopes to see the store grow as the demand for it services increases.
“Because of the number of counties we serve, I’d love to see us get more stores,” he said.
PCHCV will celebrate the store’s grand opening Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.