Local thrift store looks for help

A nonprofit thrift store in Franklin is continuing to serve low-income families as it has for more than 40 years, but needs more volunteers.

Managers of the Lord’s Cupboard are looking for residents who can spend time at the thrift store, which provides free clothing and housing essentials to residents who qualify for help and low-cost items to the public.

“We rely on volunteers,” said store manager Beth Horton, one of three part-time employees of the store.

“We are actively searching for more volunteers right now. Anyone interested can come to the store and fill out one of our applications. If they can work one hour a month, that would be fantastic. If they want to work four hours a week, that would be fantastic … there’s a place for them and a time spot for them.”

The store began in 1971 as an outreach project of Women’s Christian Fellowship. The group wanted to help families who needed clothing.

At the time, there were few stores, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill, in the area that offered secondhand goods at low prices.

The store became an independent nonprofit about a decade ago and is now overseen by a six-member board.

Since the store moved to its new location at 606 Banta St., more people have been able to get free household necessities and sales to the general public have increased. The store sells just about anything and everything except computers and mattresses.

The store carries a selection of nearly everything else, Horton said, including small electronics and appliances, tools and furniture.

Churches and local agencies, such as Interchurch Food Pantry of Johnson County or KIC-IT, refer residents to the Lord’s Cupbord to get items for free.

“Since our move, we’ve been able to quadruple the families we serve,” Horton said.

Although other retailers sell gently used goods at low prices, the donors who support the store say they appreciate the efforts of the Lord’s Cupboard because all profits stay in Johnson County to help local people. Other stores’ donations go through the upper levels of the organization before it would directly help local people, Horton added.

The Lord’s Cupboard also awards $500 scholarships for students attending Ivy Tech Community College.

The store gives away nearly $20,000 worth of merchandise per year. In 2014, the store donated items to almost 1,200 residents.

“It’s a tradition. These ladies had a strong belief in this 45 years ago. Since that time, there’s been a lot of different women on the board who have the passion to be able to help families within Johnson County and be involved,” Horton said.

At a glance

The Lord’s Cupboard is a nonprofit thrift shop that sells clothing and household goods and donates items to needy families:

Where: 606 Banta St., Franklin

Hours: The store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed Sunday and Monday.  

How to help: Donations are accepted anytime during business hours. Volunteers are also needed.

For more information, call 736-5503.

Anna Herkamp is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at aherkamp@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2712.