Letters to the Editor

April 9, 2013

Mahaska County Thrift Store is a gem

OSKALOOSA — Letter to the editor:

This letter is to give over due recognition to a true Gem that we have in Oskaloosa and Mahaska County. That is Mahaska County Outreach located in the 100 Block of North 1st Street, one block North of the Courthouse. It was started in 1983 when the Salvation Army closed its Oskaloosa Thrift Store by Army Board members James McCurdy and Andrew (Dutch) Van Hulzen. The primary mission was to provide clothing and other items to the less fortunate at low cost. Like other Thrift Stores their source of inventory is through donations. Unlike other Thrift Stores, they are ran by a Board rather then a CEO making 2.3 Million dollars a year, and they do actually help those in need.

Being an eBay Junky. I frequent the Mahaska County Outreach quite frequently. It is now under new Management by Alice (the only paid employee) and Keith (volunteers and does what Alice tells him) Moore from the Fremont area, and the changes have been remarkable. The store is brighter, cleaner, better arranged and surprisingly more eBay stuff has shown up then ever in the past. In addition to these two, the store has several other volunteers to help keep the inventory moving.

And yes they do help others in the county. All proceeds after normal store expenses are distributed to other Non-Profit organizations in the County. For example in January checks for $2000.00 was sent to The Mahaska County “Y”, Mahaska County Ecumenical Cupboard and the Mahaska County Crises Center. In addition the Theatre in New Sharon received $750.00 but was required to obtain matching funds, which they were able to do through the Daily Trust They are now having “Bag Day” sales, where you can fill a bag for a certain amount and the proceeds for that day go to a non-profit. The last one was very successful and $700.00 was sent to Mahaska County Special Olympics. No needy person or family well ever be turned away if in need.

If you think through this letter that I’m a Board Member you are incorrect. I tried but was turned down because I buy for profit which is very understandable. I just want people to know, if you have items to donate, this is the place where your donations do the most good and the proceeds stay in the county.

Aaron Ver Steeg


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