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One goal; two stores; help for many

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 11th, 2013

Photo/Pat Mitchell With the Christmas season coming quickly, Ellen Schirmer, Gayle Johnson, Inez (a young volunteer from St. Patrick’s Church) and Marge Scholten have their hands full sorting and arranging items for purchase at the Community Thrift Store.

What sometimes begins with one goal in mind can many times evolve into something else when steps leading to the goal cannot be met.

Such is the case with the Community Thrift Store (CTS) and Grandma’s Attic (GA) sponsored by Covenant Lutheran Church. The original goal of the store was to make enough to have a dialysis center in Wheatland.

Although Marge Scholten, the idea lady behind the project, had offers of land, buildings, financial support and people committed to work the center, the one piece lacking was a nephrologist (a kidney disease specialist). A dialysis center cannot operate without this person on site.

When the dialysis center could not come to Wheatland, the altered goal was to find a way to get the patients to the Cheyenne center. That’s when the profits from CTS went towards purchasing a van. When dialysis patients’ treatment days were finally coordinated, volunteer drivers left at 8 a.m., returned around 5 p.m. three days a week.

And just think, all the items in both CTS and GA are donated, most of which would quite possibly have ended up in the landfill. Instead, these two businesses not only provide transportation for dialysis patients but support the following when there are cases of people falling through the bureaucratic cracks:

- paid medical bills for some in need

- provided handrails in homes and on ramps

- helped remodel and repair bathrooms for the handicapped/elderly

- weekend Meals-on-Wheels where shut-ins receive a fast food meal treat once a month

- several families are being reimbursed for travel, meals and lodging for out-of-town medical appointments

The next project is a $60,000 investment—a wide lift family van which will be available to all people in Platte County. It will enable licensed family members to drive it and operate the lift and take homebound or nursing home resident family members on outings. A local bank loan is purchasing the van; a Danials Grant has been applied for to help pay for the van but has not been received yet.

Many from this community will never have need for what the CTS and GA can offer. However, for those who have at one time or another been in a situation where there seemed to be no where to turn, the assistance from Community Thrift Center and Grandma’s Attic has been not just a figurative but a literal life saver.

For the complete article see the 12-04-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-04-2013 paper.

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