Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Anyone looking for ways to stretch their budget might consider The ARK a godsend.
Where else but The ARK are tailored suits from Yacoubian Tailors sold for $8; do skirts, shirts and pants carry a $2 price tag and children's clothing items sell for $1 each or two-for-$1 in sizes infant through 3T?
Not at the Goodwill. Not at Ladies of Charity. Not at most thrift stores.
These are prices lower than at yard sales, all for merchandise that is clean and only “gently” worn, according to store supervisor Marsha Stevens.
“We do wonders for those that have lost everything,” she said.
Whether from manmade or natural disasters, The ARK offers a lifeline for many in Catoosa and Walker counties.
“I see people that have nothing come in with their kids,” Stevens said. “We’re here for them.”
Since its inception, The ARK has provided a place for local residents to donate items they no longer want or need but that are too good to scrap and can be recycled to help those in their own community.
Proceeds from all sales are used to support The Center for HOPE and its mission of providing counseling services to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
Since 2009, The Center for HOPE and its staff have conducted sessions dealing with marriage and family issues, abuse, depression, addiction, grief, career and other specialized counseling services.
“We are seeing so many who are indigent that have need for our services,” said Alicyne Roth, counseling coordinator for The Center for HOPE.
This nonprofit describes itself thusly:
“The Center for HOPE provides the professional tools necessary to stabilize the mental well-being and return the self-esteem of those seeking help. Professional, credentialed, multi-specialized counselors, community leaders and pastoral counselors help to empower those who need direction in this challenging world.”
In July, having outgrown its original storefront located between Kmart and Baskin-Robbins, The ARK moved into a larger and better site situated between Bi-Lo and Hamrick’s across from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School.
“It’s grown a lot during the past three years,” Stevens said.
The ARK is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and its new location at 1809 Battlefield Parkway offers more room to sort, store and display items as well as makes it possible to have special events on a regular basis.
“We’re excited to announce a schedule of specials,” Roth said.
Those specials include:
n The first Tuesday of each month is designated Senior Day, when anyone 55 or older is given a 25-percent discount.
n The second Friday of each month is “Fill a Bag Friday,” when a bag can be filled with clothing items for a flat fee of $5.
n The third Wednesday of every month is BOGO day, when the purchase of one full-price item means a second item of equal or lesser value is half price.
n The last Saturday of every month is Super Saturday, when everything in the store is discounted 20 percent.
“We appreciate any and all donations, particularly of furniture, that are not damaged, torn, missing buttons or stained,” Stevens said. “We’re here to help, and what we can’t use goes to the Goodwill or the Community Kitchen in Chattanooga.”