Friday, February 1, 2013
Attic Treasures Family Store in LaFayette assists women in crisis situations by selling gently used merchandise to patrons. Donations of clothing, housewares and furniture make up the inventory.
“We are a nonprofit that has provided emergency shelter to abused and battered women and their children since 1995,” said Kristy Lawson, director of the Family Crisis Center for Domestic Violence that serves Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties, with which the thrift store partners. “We greatly depend on private donations. We need nonperishable food items, diapers, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels for the shelter and clothing, shoes and furniture for the thrift store.”
Walker County’s Family Crisis Center is an 18-bed domestic violence shelter that can house up to 24 women and children at one time. The needs list is endless because anything needed in one’s home is needed at the shelter, she said.
“The Family Crisis Center for Domestic Violence is a 24/7 facility,” said Lawson. “We have a hotline where we take in emergency crisis calls 24/7. For 2012, we took in approximately 2,000 crisis calls. For the entire year we housed 110 people counting women and children. Residents stay three months or longer. While they are in temporary shelter we provide them with whatever they need.”
The center offers children’s groups, referrals, safety planning, legal advocacy and outreach services. Advocates also provide temporary protective orders to help the women being served.
Attic Treasures Family Store manager Donna Alexander makes a difference in the lives of those same women by selling clothing, accessories, housewares, children’s toys, electronics and books to help support the shelter and its clients.
“The ladies from the shelter can come in and get anything they need in the store,” said Alexander, adding that volunteer help is always needed in both the LaFayette and Summerville stores. “We help them find a place to live and give them clothes, housewares and furniture.”
Among the regular patrons that come in to shop, ladies blouses are a top seller, she said.
“We get good name brand clothing,” said Alexander. “People like it that Goodwill is next door because they can go to both by walking and shopping. If they can’t find it here, then they can go next door and find it.”
She said prior to working at Attic Treasures she did not shop at thrift stores, but now she would not shop anywhere else.
“Our blouses are a dollar, our blue jeans are a dollar and shoes and purses are a dollar,” said Alexander. “Dresses are $2.50. It does not matter if it is brand new or name brand, it is still the same price.”
Aside from helping women and children in crisis, the thrift store also donates items to people whose house burned down. The family must show the fire report first, but after that can select clothing and furniture as needed.
“We do help children in schools with clothing needs by giving them clothes too,” Alexander added. “We do recycle clothing that is torn and someone local picks it up and pays us for it.”
A helping hand
Attic Treasures Family Store, at 107 Mize St. in LaFayette, can be reached at 706-638-7627. The store is closed Sundays and Mondays. If anyone is interested in donating items to the local women’s shelter, call 706-375-7180. Local women in crisis should call the help hotline at 706-375-7630.