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Thrift Store's Profits Help Rape Victims

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SELMA — Non-profit organizations can no longer depend upon government funding to stay afloat. So, they are looking for other ways to raise money. Harbor Incorporated in Johnston County has come up with a new way to pay the bills.

Thrift shops are places where one person's trash becomes another's treasure. At Becky's Boutique in Selma, customers can get a deal and lend a hand at the same time.

Profits go directly to Harbor Incorporated, a non-profit group which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

"It may not always be the popular cause in federal and state government, but we always need to be here. We need to have alternative sources to rely and serve as back-up so we can serve those victims," said Director Keri Christensen.

Michelle Cook explained that "a good deal of the new stuff you see, Wal-Mart donated."

Sorting clothing for the thrift shop and the clients is just one of the many tasks that Michelle Cook handles.

Cook says she was abused by her ex-husband for 19 years.

"I said I wasn't going to die that way. It was worth taking the risk of leaving," said Cook.

Now, she helps other victims.

"It helps. It's nice to be able to talk to them. I think I get as much from it as they do," explained Cook.

But in order to continue its mission, the group must find creative ways to fund a $200,000 annual budget. Cook says the thrift shop is a good start.

"We're needed. The public doesn't always like to hear that, but there's a lot of women out there who need our help," said Cook.

The thrift shop was opened in February with a grant from theNorth Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

In the first month of operation, the store returned $3,000 in profits to the organization.

The thrift shop which is located at 900 Pollock Street in Selma, accepts clothing donations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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