A New Beginning For Madrid Thrift Store & Food Pantry

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The final articles of clothing are being put into place and the food pantry shelves are being stocked as volunteers at the New Beginnings Clothing And Food Outreach gear up for this weekend's grand opening in a spacious new building.

"It's been very exciting to have a part in building our community," said Reverend Helen Beck of the United Church of Madrid.

Since it's humble start more than 20 years ago as a joint effort by three local churches, the thrift store and food pantry has been housed in a dilapidated century old horse barn.

But with the new building comes new opportunity.

"It's great to realize that we're helping people," said Donna Moore, New Beginnings vice chair.

It was through the generosity of multiple donations and some grants that volunteers were able to raise the necessary $120,000 for the new building on county Route 14, which will continue to offer affordable clothing and household items along with free food for those needing assistance.

The volunteers point out that 23 out of every 100 children in the county live below the poverty line.

Anita Davis has been a New Beginnings volunteer since its inception and has seen a lot of people down on their luck come in for help.

She expects those numbers to grow with the new handicapped accessible building and additional space.

"The mission has always been to help the unfortunate...to be able to afford to afford to buy good clothing for their children and themselves, come to the food pantry when they get low and not feel like they're getting a handout," said Davis.

A special ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Saturday at noon with the thrift store open for business every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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