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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Moundridge thrift store sees jump in use

  • “Share what you have, take what you need. Pay it forward.”
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  • “Share what you have, take what you need. Pay it forward.”
    This is the guiding philosophy and motto of Angels’ Attic, a thrift store in Moundridge. While the store is filled with high-quality merchandise, patrons don’t have to pay a single penny for any of it.
    The store with its uncommon philosophy is seeing a strong increase in customers.
    In 2012 between the months of January and September, Angels’ Attic averaged 381 shoppers per month, with 17,648 items taken out the door.
    In 2013, the store saw 681 shoppers per month from January to September with almost 29,000 items taken.
    “Every year you think you can’t exceed last year,” Ruby Jantzen, store co-director, said, “but we do.”
    Angels’ Attic shopper Kathy Flickinger of Moundridge said Angels’ Attic was very helpful for the community.
    “It’s not just something for low income,” Flickinger said. “There’s good quality in here, and it’s very well organized.”
    Store recognized for service
    The shop’s altruistic accomplishments were recognized at the McPherson County Community Foundation’s 2013 Philanthropist of the Year awards on Nov. 14, when co-directors Delonna Barnett and  Jantzen received a $500 grant for the store.
    Angels’ Attic 125 S. Christian Ave., was founded in 2009 as a way for those with unwanted items to pass them on to those less fortunate.
    “Some people had too much, far more than they needed,” Barnett said, “and there was a realization that there were people out there who needed and could use these things.”
    Angels’ Attic volunteers sort donated items to ensure quality products for thrift store beneficiaries.
    “We inspect the items,” Barnett said, “and if it’s something we wouldn’t want ourselves due to tears or stains, we send it to Mennonite Central Committee in North Newton. They process those items, and then they’re shredded for recycling.”
    Items that are deemed acceptable are made available at Angels’ Attic for patrons for seven weeks. Should no one take an item in that time, the item may be donated to other organizations, such as thrift shops or homeless shelters.
    Angels’ Attic limits patrons to 10 items per day because resellers were leaving with many items, which they would attempt to sell.
    Angels’ Attic is operated by a staff of 23 volunteers, including Jantzen and Barnett.
    Jantzen and Barnett said they do the best to help everyone they can, even in unusual and difficult circumstances.
    “One time we shipped items to an Indian reservation in Montana that had a fire. Over two-thirds of the reservation had been burned,” Barnett said.
    Page 2 of 3 - Jantzen said another such situation presented itself when a person donated a computer to the store.
    “We had a gentleman from Valley Hope Rehab Center come in,” Jantzen said. “We weren’t sure what we were going to do with this computer, but he really wanted it. I took it to him at Valley Hope, and soon he was taking online classes.”
    In another situation, a donor wanted to offer a dining room table and chairs.
    “We couldn’t have those in the store,” Barnett said, “but we have a board where people can post items we can’t keep in the store. I put her name and information on the board and within 20 minutes a woman who had come in had seen the posting and wanted them.”
    Barnett said the woman who wanted the table and chairs didn’t turn up for a week, so the staff called her.
    “She said she hadn’t been able to come get them because of family issues,” Barnett said, “So Ruby and I took a truck and delivered them to her.”
    Angels’ Attic receives donations and grant funds to cover operating costs.
    “We have received and continue to received grants from the Moundridge Community Foundation, the Schowalter Foundation and the Eden Endowment Fund,” Barnett said.
    Jantzen said Angels’ Attic’s landlords, Ken and Pat Stucky, also are a great assistance to the operation because they charge the store a minimal rent.
    “They also pay all the utilities,” Jantzen said. “We would not be able to continue without their support.”
    Barnett said they are very grateful for their staff of volunteers.
    “We want someone in there who has the same passion we do,” Barnett said, “and we try to let them know they are appreciated. Every year we host a meal for our volunteer staff.”
    Jantzen said that Angels’ Attic is best summed up as a helping hand.
    “But it’s a hand up,” Jantzen said, “not a hand out. It’s not an entitlement.”
    Barnett said that Angels’ Attic is a place to help those who need help.
    “This is a place where there are no boundaries,” Barnett said, “be it race or income.”
    Angels’ Attic is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. Those wishing to donate to Angels’ Attic may mail donations to P.O. Box 325, Moundridge, KS 67107. Angels’ Attic also has a donation box in the store.
    Angels’ Attic is open from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
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