Mission finds room to spare for thrift shop


March 25, 2002|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE WESTMINSTER Rescue Mission soon will open doors to a thrift shop on Main Street called The Spare Room.

The Rev. Clifford Elkins, executive director, is spending his spare time painting and prodding others to get the last-minute touches done.

"We are getting close," said Elkins as he painted baseboards in a room that soon will house children's toys and games. "It's exciting. This side of the store will have furniture and household items, and the other side of the store will have all the clothing."

Since the nonprofit organization purchased 28 and 30 Main St. (where Time-ly Gifts and Leister Gallery used to be located) in August, contractors have put in a loading dock in the back and worked on minor renovations such as air-conditioning repairs and electrical work. Elkins and some of the men who live at Shalom Farm, a shelter funded by the sale of items donated to the mission store, have shouldered the rest of the repairs.

The mission operated its store from the two-story brick building on Main Street for 30 years until structural damage in the back was deemed too expensive, and the historic building was demolished.

Since then, the store has operated from Westminster Shopping Center on Route 140. Elkins is quick to note his gratitude for the space there, but his enthusiasm about moving to a store that is almost three times larger shines through.

"Just look at all these shelves," he said, opening his arms and turning around in the empty room. "My wife has already planned where the dishes and glass items will go."

In three weeks, Elkins expects to start moving in the inventory. He offers "guestimations" (such as May 1) for The Spare Room's opening, and promises that when he is certain about the opening date, he'll shout it from the mountaintops.

To comply with city zoning restrictions, The Spare Room will be used only for retail purposes. Donations cannot be dropped there.

"We promised the city that donations would come to the farm location on 658 Correll Drive," Elkins said. "It can get messy when you start collecting items."

The mission store uses the money it makes from the sale of donated items to care for the 40 men who stay at its shelter, Shalom Farm, which is off Lucabaugh Mill Road. The farm provides free housing, clothing and counseling for men addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Seventy-five percent of the mission's funding is from its three thrift stores - the others are in Sykesville and Taneytown. The rest is from donations.

Information about the new location or directions to the donation drop spot: 410-848-2222.

Basket bingo

Robert Moton Elementary's PTO is having a Longaberger basket and Beanie Baby bingo April 5. The event will feature 20 games, raffles, door prizes and refreshments.

"We hope to fill the house," said Maria Carr, PTO member and promotion coordinator for the event. "Players will have the chance to win a Beanie [Baby] and a basket every game."

Doors will open at 6 p.m., and games will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at the school office, the Hickory Stick, or at Pure Image Hair & Nail Studio. Advance tickets are $10, $6 for children age 12 and younger. Tickets at the door are $12, and $8 for children age 12 and younger.

Information: 410-751-3610.

Living Treasure

Carroll Community College's student aide Eliz Erman honors her father, Rifat Erman of Hampstead, as her Living Treasure this week.

"He loves me unconditionally despite the crazy things I do," Eliz said. "I think that he is the sweetest man alive. He has the biggest heart, and I will miss him while I live at the beach this summer."

Brighten the day of someone who has made a positive difference in your life. Send in a name and specific reasons why someone has been your Living Treasure to: Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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