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Giving spirit

By Staff
Falkville thrift store is a labor of love
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Kaye Woods doesn't like the term "junk." In fact, she considers every donation that comes through the door at the Falkville Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store a treasure.
Woods, manager of the only D.A.V. Thrift Store in Alabama, and many D.A.V. Chapter 52 members work tirelessly to make thrift store shopping a pleasant experience for customers and those in need.
"If it doesn't work, we don't put it out," Chapter Commander Donald Collum said.
"And if it's dirty, we clean it. We even have a washer and dryer to clean the clothes donations," Woods said.
Operating strictly on donations, the store offers linens, toys, house wares, small appliances, furniture, shoes, accessories, baby items, books, jewelry, seasonal items and much more for sale to the community.
"You never know what treasure you might find," Woods said. "I often think of the verse 'Ask and ye shall receive,' because it's remarkable how many times someone has come in and asked for a certain item and then we receive that very thing as a donation. It happened three times in one day last week."
Located at 3989 Highway 31 SW in Falkville, the store has been in operation since 1986. Collum said Chapter 52 has 121 members and meets monthly to decide how proceeds from the business will best benefit disabled veterans in nursing homes, hospitals, and those waiting to receive disability benefits.
"We're out here for the veterans and the community," Collum said. "We also help people who have had house fires. They just come in and show us their fire report and we'll outfit the entire family from head to toe. We help people from all around with just any need that we can meet."
Woods said the Chapter 52 Auxiliary, of which she is a member, also identifies needs in the community throughout the year and assists families with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
"The good that comes from the community donating to and shopping at the thrift store is not limited to veterans," Woods said. "We try to help as many people as we can. If you come in here and need a winter coat, we'll give it to you. Don't let pride stand in your way. There's no need for people to do without as long as there's a thrift store."
Woods said the store's weekly "Bag Day" is also a great benefit to the community. Shoppers are invited one day each week to pack a shopping bag with as many clothing items as they can squeeze in for just $5 per bag.
"It's a benefit to the whole community because $5 is a pretty good deal for a bag full of good clothes," Woods said. "People may not realize that you can pack right at $100 worth of clothes into a Wal-Mart bag. Some of the clothes donations we get are brand new and still have the original tags on them."
Woods and Collum agree that donations are good during the warmer months, but would like to encourage people to continue to donate items during the winter months as well.
All donations are tax deductible and pickup and delivery services are available. The store is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 784-9066 for donation information.
"The community is what makes all of this possible," Collum said. "We appreciate each donation we receive and each person who comes through that door to shop with us, and so do the veterans and all those we're able to help."