PARKERSBURG - The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley has opened its third Noah's Arc Thrift Store at 1915 Dudley Ave.
The new shop provides another alternative lower-cost shopping option while also raising funds for the organization which provides services and programs for children and adults with intellectual, cognitive and related developmental disabilities and their families.
"One hundred percent of the proceeds from our shops stay right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley for our services, community education and health and wellness programs," said Christina Smith, executive director for The Arc.
The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley has opened a third Noah’s Arc Thrift Store at 1915 Dudley Ave. The Arc’s three shops are fundraisers for the nonprofit entity that serves children and adults with disabilities. The thrift stores offer a variety of merchandise like men, women and children’s clothing, including many brand names among the racks. (Photo by Pamela Brust)
The Arc is one of 700 chapters nationwide. The agency serves about 3,500 families yearly in the 10-county region and through statewide coalitions.
It also provides family support and advocacy, information and referral, direct support to clients, adult living skills education, health/wellness, early intervention, assistive technology and individual and community education.
Other shops are at 906 Broadway Ave., Parkersburg, and 1505 Grand Central Ave., Suite 8, Vienna . The new Dudley Avenue shop, next to Parkersburg High School, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Donations for the store can be dropped off at those times as well. Donations are tax deductible because The Arc is nonprofit.
The shop features men, women and children's clothing, with many name brands on the racks, shoes, purses, toys, books, golf clubs, jewelry, wedding and prom gowns, formal wear, crafts, knick-knacks, television sets, linens, dishware, home decor items and small appliances.
Smith said it was time for expansion after the success of the two other stores.
"We knew this area of Parkersburg near the high school and close to lots of residential neighborhoods could use a shop, and we had been looking for a location for awhile. So when this spot became available, it seemed like the perfect pace," Smith said.
Nearly 40 percent of the organization's budget comes from the proceeds raised by the thrift stores, Smith said.
"We also give back to the community in need. We have donated household items, clothing, those types of things to individuals who have shown a true need in the community. We are also an authorized community service site provider for volunteers," Smith said. "We have also donated items to local organizations that needed them, like the Actor's Guild, the veterans."
The shops employ nine people.
Debbie Hansen, store manager, said the shop has been a popular venue for prom gowns, wedding dresses and formal wear.
"I love shopping thrift shops. I'm a real bargain shopper. I go to all three of the Arc's thrift shops. I do fostering, so I look for clothes for my foster children and I have little ones, so I check out clothes for them. I am surprised by how many brand names I've found," said Julie Jones, a shooper at Dudley Avenue.
Amanda Lieving recently lost weight and donated her "fat" clothes to the thrift store and purchased new "skinny" clothes to supplement her new wardrobe.
"I buy all my clothes at the shops. You never know what you are going to find," Lieving said.
The original thrift shop was located in downtown Parkersburg and was started by the Junior League of Parkersburg. It was later turned over to the Arc for use to raise funds.
The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley's offices are at 912 Market St., Parkersburg.
In addition to the funds raised by the thrift shops, The Arc relies on grants from the West Virginia Development Disabilities Council, United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, state, and local sources including private and corporate donations.
For more information on The Arc, contact 304-422-3151, extension 106. For information on the thrift shops call 304-422-2591 or 304-428-6700.