Sun, April 21, 2024

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Harlem thrift store surpasses $1 million in giving back to the community

You’ve probably never thought donating your old couch or shoes you no longer wear could help someone in financial distress. But at Attic Treasures, it can. Since opening in 2008, the Harlem thrift store has given away more than $1 million to the local community.

To celebrate this achievement, the business located at 575 West Milledgeville Road, will host a customer appreciation event on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event is open to the public. Attic Treasures will provide hot dogs, chips, and drinks.

They will also have door prizes and special prices on all items in the store, which is run by a five-member board of volunteers rather than an owner or manager.

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“The board meets once a month, and we decide where we want to donate the money,” said President Loreen Reynolds.

Attic Treasures board members are, from left, Loreen Reynolds, President; Stephaney Crenshaw, Vice President; Debbie Kitchens, Secretary; and Ricki Dean, past President. Also on the board is Ann Davis, Treasurer (not pictured). (Photo by Josh Heath)

The store sells a variety of items, such as clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, books, and exercise equipment, and all items are donated. Past Board President, Ricki Dean said business has been great over the years, which is what’s made it possible for them to give back to the community.

“We’re blessed to be a blessing to others,” Dean said.

In 2008, the board had $500 to donate, but Stephaney Crenshaw, Vice President of the board, said they now have about $20,000 a month to give.

Attic Treasures donates to a variety of charitable organizations, including The Lydia Project, now known as Cancer Support Services, and 143 Ministries, which helps men and women struggling with addiction. The business also supports six local schools: one in Dearing and five in Columbia County.

“The schools have been able to keep going,” Crenshaw said.

Attic Treasures sells a variety of donated items. (Photo by Josh Heath)

Each year, the board also awards $1,000 in need-based college scholarships to high school students from Thomson, Harlem, and Grovetown, as well as homeschool students. To be eligible, students must apply and submit letters of recommendation about their community service.

At Christmas, they provide presents for needy children.

But Attic Treasures is there for the community in times of crisis as well. The store helps individuals and families affected by job losses, fires, and other emergencies. She said all they ask for is a letter from a church or other charitable organization.

Crenshaw said the business has helped families of children diagnosed with cancer pay medical bills.

“We never ask about a person’s income,” Reynolds said.

The store accepts most donations, except for dirty clothes, broken items, and used mattresses and box springs.

Reynolds looks forward to the customer appreciation event to raise awareness about the store’s mission.

Attic Treasures is located in Harlem.

“It’s another way to get out to the community,” she said. “People in Harlem don’t know what we do.”

Attic Treasures is open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations can be dropped off any day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., but to receive a receipt, customers must visit the store during normal business hours.

For more information, visit the Attic Treasures Facebook page or call 706-220-0402.

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