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THRIFTY NICHE
by Debbie Lurie-Smith
Jan 17, 2013 | 1634 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thrift store volunteer Kristie Cartagena (r) helps a customer at the jewelry counter, which features a variety of costume jewelry.
Thrift store volunteer Kristie Cartagena (r) helps a customer at the jewelry counter, which features a variety of costume jewelry.
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A Jones County man’s dream of an outreach ministry to give people a way to help themselves has come to fruition in the form of a thrift store. The store has been so successful that more inventory space is already needed.

Businessman Ronnie Hinson has been a board member of Mustard Seed Ministries’ Jones County effort since it came together in 2011, but he has felt the need for a local thrift store for many years to meet the needs of the community in which he grew up.

Mustard Seed’s primary focus was and is assisting with new roofs, ramps, and other home repairs for people who cannot afford the going rate for the services. The ministry offers a hand up and performs the service at a greatly reduced price, but most of the recipients are asked to repay the ministry at least in part for the supplies to ensure funds are available for the next project.

That is the same philosophy Hinson wanted to convey with the thrift store. People who can afford it may purchase items at bargain basement prices, but he never turns away anyone who is in need.

Many times the first transaction that happens with his customers is to have a prayer with them.

Mustard Seed founder Gary Hargis continues to focus on the repairs but gave the project of the thrift store to Hinson. That is how the Jones County Outreach Center, located at 3378 Gray Highway, came to be. The location is familiar to longtime residents because it is the former home of Cleo’s Restaurant.

For the full story, pick up a copy of this week's newspaper or subscribe to our e-Edition at http://ee.jcnews.com.
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