By: Alyssa McFadden
MT. VERNON, Ky. — Christian Appalachian Project’s Grateful Threadz Thrift Store and Grateful Bread Food Pantry had a lot to celebrate this year and the staff wanted to share that love with customers and participants this past Thursday, Valentine’s Day. Customer Appreciation Day is an annual event designed to give back to the community served by CAP.
“Everyone who comes into Gratefuls becomes an extended part of our family,” said Angie Howard, program coordinator for both the thrift store and the pantry. “We build personal relationships that hold more value than a business transaction. Each day we check in with participants and let them know we’re thinking of them.”
Grateful Threads sells new and gently used clothing at a low cost to the community. While anyone can shop in the thrift store, the Christian Appalachian Project program was created to benefit individuals in the community who might have financial challenges finding affordable items in a traditional department store and have limited transportation to get to stores in other areas.
In 2018, Grateful Threadz recorded 15,329 transactions at the store for clothing and other essential items. In the same year, Grateful Bread served 3,434 participants through the provision of supplemental and emergency food.
This year’s Customer Appreciation Day coincided with elderly commodities – the monthly distribution of an additional box of food to seniors, 60 and over and low income. The pantry served around six hundred and eighty families in January alone, and hopes to continue increasing this number as the year continues.
“I think that it’s great to have Customer Appreciation Day on the same day as elderly commodity distribution,” said Kathleen Taflinger, a volunteer from Arizona who will spend one year helping families shop in the pantry. “Customer Appreciation Day shows our participants who may only be able to come once a month that we appreciate them, and they are in our thoughts.”
Thanks to CAP’s Operation Sharing warehouse, which receives gift-in-kind donations from corporate partners across the nation, guests were treated to light refreshments and a free holiday bear as an appreciation gift.
“We work all year to build one-on-one relationships with the community and we want to show our appreciation for the many ways that they support us,” said Sherri Barnett, manager of the Grateful Threadz and Grateful Bread. “It’s great to see them come in here and have an opportunity for us to love on them. They are a part of our CAP family.”
For more information on how to donate to the thrift store or the pantry, contact Sherri Barnett at 606.386.0004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.