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Steps to HOPE Thrift Store expanding

Donations needed to renovate home goods building

COLUMBUS—Steps to HOPE Thrift Store is expanding. 

The county’s domestic violence shelter recently purchased the former American Red Cross building in Columbus and plans to create the Second Chance Home Goods store there. 

The current thrift store is located downtown and has outgrown its space. The current thrift store will house all fashion and accessory items, such as clothing, purses, jewelry and shoes and the new building will be home goods. 

Steps to HOPE purchased the building and is now kicking off a capital campaign to be able to renovate for the home goods store. 

Steps to HOPE began in 1985 to provide safe shelter and resources to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The shelter is 12 beds and provides basic needs to victims and helps them find resources to start their lives without fear of domestic violence. 

The Second Chance Thrift Store provides a large portion of the shelter’s operating costs. 

Steps to HOPE offers case management, court advocacy, free legal assistance, free counseling, youth empowerment classes, safe dating programs, self defense classes, domestic violence intervention programs, resource guidance and other resources to assist victims. 

Steps to HOPE Executive Director BJ Bayne said the shelter was given a wonderful opportunity to purchase the former Red Cross building at a price they could afford and not only will the building give the thrift store needed space but also extra parking for volunteers. 

The thrift store has been operating for 26 years and is operated mostly with volunteers.  

“Expanding our store will allow us future stability in our continued mission to provide safe shelter and resources for victims of domestic and sexual abuse,” Bayne said. “Polk County has an amazing heart for giving, our communities take care of each other and help to make sure resources are available for people in need.”

Bayne also said Steps to HOPE could not exist without its donors or volunteers. 

Steps to HOPE Chairperson Patty Otto said Steps to HOPE provides victim assistance to families facing the very real and every day horror of domestic abuse. 

“In order to fulfill our mission, we require capital from grant agencies, generous donors and sales from our thrift store in Columbus,” Otto said. “Times are tough. We decided to raise additional capital by expanding our thrift store operation to permit receiving and disbursing of donations of large household goods.” 

Anyone who wants to help with the capital campaign and send donations to Steps to HOPE at P.O. Box 518, Columbus, N.C. 28722. For more information contact Bayne at Steps to HOPE at 828-894-2340.