Secondhand store a blessing to many

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Giving back to those in need is what Second Blessings in Elm City is all about. And the secondhand store’s mission has changed the lives of many throughout the community over the years.

Second Blessings started in 2010 operating once a month in the basement of Elm City United Methodist Church. But a year later, the home across the street became available. That’s when church members decided to rent the home. Since then, the shop has been open once a week on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We operate solely on donations,” said Wanda Dorsey, volunteer and church member. She said the church pays the rent, and benefactors pay the heat during the winter months.

“That means 100 percent of sales will go toward helping those in need,” she said.

Second Blessings has a variety of gently used items, including men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. They also sell jewelry, small tables, small housewares and kitchen items. She said 90 percent of the items they sell are $1. Other items range from $2 to $3.

“We restock every season,” Dorsey said. “We clear everything out and start from new.”

Many people donate those items, and the store is able to resell and make a profit to assist in another mission for their church — feeding the hungry.

About 90 percent of the store’s sales support the church’s Loaves and Fishes ministry. Volunteers are able to purchase food monthly to distribute to needy families who are vetted through Wilson County’s Department of Social Services.

“We distributed 44 boxes of food last month,” Dorsey said. “Each box of food is designed to feed a family of four for a week. The mission is truly blessed.”

Dorsey said the church’s Loaves and Fishes mission has provided between 25,000 to 30,000 meals to those in need since 2011.

She said being in an low economic area, it’s vital for the church to reach out and help others.

“There is a great need,” she said.

Dorsey has seen that need first-hand after being a part of food deliveries on Saturdays.

“When you leave those homes, you are so grateful for what you have,” she said. “Some of these people have nothing.”

Not only is the store open to the public who want to score a good deal on quality used items, but volunteers are also able to help those who are in dire situations.

She said the store has changed many lives and blessed the church and its volunteers at the same time.

“The love of God is our first blessing, and we are trying to be the second blessing as the hands and feet of Jesus,” she said.

Second Blessings is located at 100 W. Nash St. Elm City and is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those who wish to donate gently used items can drop them off on the back porch of the store. Dozens of church members rotate and volunteer to operate the store.