Thrift shop defends changes

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I am responding to the letter “Thrift Shop Changes Unwelcome.”
I don’t normally respond to these kinds of comments and just let time settle them. However, I feel accountable to the community and to the people who donate to us. I need to give some factual information and hope that will put this to rest.
Willing Partners of Galax and Independence still has pictures, wooden shelves, lamps, home decor items, craft items, pillows, blankets and sheets — all displayed for sale.
Stock is low right now, because of the numbers of items we have sold. Donations have been better since weather has improved.
People can still come to our thrift stores in search of that “hidden gem.” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need to save time, and with the diligent, hard work that our wonderful employees and volunteers have invested, customers can “hunt for their treasures” in an easier and quicker fashion.
I want to address the very tired issue of black sheets in the windows at the Galax store. But first, I thank volunteers from Blue Ridge Chapel who have donated time, efforts and finances to do our windows since October 2012, and to state that the black sheets were a backdrop only and never intended to be a focal point of our windows.
If a person focused on the black sheets, they missed the point and the wonderful themes that the windows have been all about.
As for the writer shopping elsewhere, that is her choice. But we would welcome her anytime.
Changes have been welcomed by hundreds of shoppers since last fall, as opposed to a basic few who have complained. We’re going to continue doing what we feel convicted to do: strive to make Willing Partners the best it can be for the continued benefit of our community.
We are a not-for-profit charitable organization that feeds the hungry of Carroll, Grayson and Galax and serves the less-fortunate in various ways. That will continue to be our priority.
If anyone has an interest in volunteering or helping with our cause, I will be happy to talk with you.
Kathy Cooley
Executive Director, Willing Partners, Inc.