Workers from the Valley Rescue Mission are putting the finishing touches on a new donation and retail center that officially opens Feb. 7 at 3740 Macon Road.
“People have seen the sign and are already dropping donations off here,” said Mike Ladner, Valley Rescue Mission’s director of retail services.
While the business at the Macon Road location, formerly home to Movie Gallery, will sell items, a new center aimed at just collecting donations will open the same day at 7466 Blackmon Road.
Already established thrift stores are located at 7553 North Veterans Parkway and 101-B 30th St., the latter of those is next door to Valley Rescue Mission on Second Avenue.
“It is exciting to see this growth,” said Mitzi Oxford, Valley Rescue Mission’s director of development.
Workers are currently filling up the 4,000-square-foot building on Macon Road with clothes, toys and household appliances.
“In a city where one in five people lives below the poverty level, these centers are needed,” Oxford said. “At any given time, one medical trauma or loss of job can bring them to homelessness. Our ministries can provide aid in those situations.”
“We were searching for a good location for this store and were thrilled when this one became available,” Ladner said.
He echoed Oxford’s statement about a great need for the centers.
Last year, more than 4,000 people received vouchers from Valley Rescue Mission that allowed them to replace furniture and other items.
Money collected at the stores financially supports programs such as Damascus Way Home for Women and Children. Oxford mentioned that Valley Rescue Mission is currently in the process of doubling the size of that program, a move she said is necessary because currently about 200 women a month are turned away.
Speaking about the new center on Macon Road, Oxford noted it is close to the main campus of Columbus State University.
“It will be a great place for college students to shop. Lots of bargains,” Oxford said.