CABOT — In a nondescript building across from Westside Elementary School in Cabot, renovations are moving along, and donations are being collected, for a new thrift store with a mission.
The Cabot Community Outreach Thrift Store is set to open sometime later this month, but it is going to be more than a place for people to shop for odds and ends. The thrift store is part of a larger ministry to identify and meet the needs of the people in Cabot.
Cabot Community Outreach Ministries was formed through Bible Church of Cabot, and the thrift store will be the first step in raising funds for more initiatives that the ministry plans to get off the ground.
“We have so many programs that we’re wanting to get started,” said Julie Bohannan, thrift-store director for the ministry. “We’re just going to take this wherever the Lord leads us.”
Some of those projects include an after-school program for children who are too old to be in day care but still too young to be home alone. Bohannan said she hopes to have the program up and running for the beginning of next school year.
Pastor Rob Davis of Bible Church of Cabot said the after-school program will be geared toward seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders and will be held from 3:30-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Bible Church of Cabot.
Davis said the thrift store will act as an “insertion point” to get the ministry into the community.
“It’s been in the making for a while,” he said. “We weren’t sure of what it was going to look like, but we were looking for a way to meet the needs in the community that haven’t been met by someone else. The thrift store gives us the beginning point for that.”
As time goes on, Davis said, the proceeds from the store will help fulfill other needs, such as a potential safe house for victims of sex trafficking.
“We would love to see things in the future that would allow us to do other things,” he said.
The building, at 1610A S. Second St., that will hold the thrift store has recently undergone an interior renovation to house the store. Bright oranges, blues and greens brighten up the large space, and a kids’ section has been built in a corner so shoppers can have a place for their children to watch television and play with toys during the shopping excursion.
One area of need Bohannan said the ministry plans to address quickly is to provide items for foster parents who may not have exactly what their foster children need.
“We’re going to have a room set up with baby items and kids’ stuff,” Bohannan said. “A lot of times, the parents get a 6-month-old, and they’ve not had any babies in the home. They need high chairs and car seats and things like that, so we’re hoping we can help them with that.”
Donations have already filtered in for the store, including clothes, stoves, dishwashers, doors, lighting fixtures, small kitchen appliances and a king-size Sleep Number bed.
“There’s no telling what you can get at a thrift store,” Bohannan said. “And the more people learn to take care of each other, the better we’ll all be.”
Bohannan said the thrift store is still taking donations, which can be made at 1610A S. Second St. or by calling Bohannan at (501) 743-2166.
Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.