Camden County Child Advocacy Council operates a Thrift Store in Camdenton to help in the funding many of their programs. Although it is a business and profit is the bottom line for most businesses, there are times when it's not about receiving a cash payment for an item but rather just receiving a smile from a child that was helped.
Three-year-old Dominick was abused by his mother and step-father to the point that he did not speak. Dominick showed evidence of being whipped – painful looking red marks across his back. He was brought in by his grandfather to look for a winter coat. The grandfather wanted the coat to be very warm and wanted to make sure it had a hood. There wasn't coat to fit the boy upstairs at the thrift store so he was taken downstairs where other coats were to look for one and found a red "Kansas City Chiefs" coat that fit him perfectly. He was so excited and ran up the stairs to show his grandfather, but his grandfather said, "No hood." Dominick looked up at the clothing rack before him and pointed to a knit cap, "a red one!" (Amazingly we finally heard him speak!) His grandfather approved of the knit cap. Dominick started laughing and dancing. He was so happy to have a warm new coat and to be safe with his grandfather.
There was an 11th grade girl who was excited about being invited to her high school prom. Her family could not afford to purchase a formal gown for her and when the girl's high school counselor became aware of the problem, she contacted Child Advocacy Council to see if the Thrift Store had a dress in the girl's size. Unfortunately, there wasn't a dress in her size. Knowing that the lack of an appropriate dress can be a traumatic and overwhelming situation, the council voted to purchase a dress for the girl. A council members took the girl shopping and with a little alteration, she got the perfect dress.
In another instance, two young women and a baby came into the thrift store to shop for a few baby things. The baby was wrapped in a small blanket and had no shoes or socks. The young women found several outfits for the baby, shoes, socks, and even a warm blanket. As the volunteers at the store were talking with them, Thrift Store workers learned that these women were sisters and both had been in abusive relationships. They were sharing a house and sleeping on the floor. One of the Child Advocacy Council members called a resource for mattresses and asked if they had a bed or beds that they could donate to the women. Not only did they supply the women with a bed, they delivered it to their home. The Child Advocacy Thrift Store supplied the pillows, sheets, and blankets. Two weeks later, the women came back into the store with words of thanks.
Page 2 of 2 - Child Advocacy Thrift Store has been in their current building located on 77 Dawson Road, just off of North Highway 5 for eight years and remodeled in January. Store items range from clothing to bedding to furniture and other household items. Most of the items that are sold are received through donations from individuals or businesses in the community. Business hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every Thursday is "$5 basket sale" day. The basket must be level with the top and can include any clothing but can only include one new package of socks, one new package of underwear, one purse, a belt and one pair of shoes. Donations are accepted during normal business hours. For more information, contact the Thrift Store at 573-346-0003.