GHCCM receives Unifour Foundation grant for Thrift Store renovations

From a GHCCM press release

The Unifour Foundation Endowment awarded the Thrift Store at Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) a $6,000 grant earlier this year to assist with renovations of the clothing room. Phase I renovations of the clothing room included new display racks, two new staging areas at the entrance of the store, lighting, slat wall and shoe rack displays, a voucher station, an additional dressing room and updates to the existing dressing room, paint, mannequins and other decorative items.

“This grant allowed us to completely remodel the clothing room of our Thrift Store,” said John and Ruth Featherstone, managers of the store.  “One of our top priorities when we came to GHCCM was to help the Thrift Store be in a position to generate more income to help sustain and grow our healthcare clinic, pharmacy and food pantry. This remodel enabled us to triple the amount of clothes onto our sales floor, and we are very grateful to the Unifour Foundation for their support.”   

Revenues from the Thrift Store support the programs and services offered by GHCCM, which in turn supports those in need of items from their Thrift Store voucher program. Thrift Store vouchers are provided at no cost to individuals and families in crisis situations who are in need of clothing, coats, blankets and other items. For those transitioning into a home or re-establishing a home after a disaster or crisis situation, the Thrift Store at GHCCM assists by providing needed household items and furniture as available.

“We are in a season in our culture where thrifting is trendy and fun,” said the Featherstones. “Finding expensive brands for amazing bargains is no longer approached with humility but with pride. And with so many unknowns in our economy, paired with the rise of popular platforms like Pinterest and DIY (do it yourself) shows, our thrift store has now become the destination spot for the ‘treasure hunt.’  From repurposing furniture to name-brand clothing, we have a huge opportunity to grow this part of CCM to help more and more of those in need in our community.”

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2014, the Thrift Store at GHCCM provided 1,661 clients with vouchers for clothing and household items, valued over $26,000. Community volunteers gave 8,768 hours of their time and talent to the ministry, valued at $184,478. “Our volunteers are vital to all of our programs,” said the Featherstones. “We are grateful not only for the donations the ministry receives, but for the time, talent, care and concern our volunteers share by volunteering with our programs.”

The Thrift Store at GHCCM offers gently used and new furniture, art and antiques, draperies, bedding and fabrics, vintage items, household items, a sporting goods section, clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children of all sizes, children’s toys, stuffed animals, books and a holiday department. The Thrift Store is also home to a Top Rated eBay store, listing a variety of items from Burberry coats to Wedgewood china and “Howdy Doody!” dolls.

“We invite the community to watch and support Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Thrift Store remodel, where our furniture room is being given a face lift with an installation of custom shelving to fit out more goods, followed by our warehouse receiving the implementation of a new floorplan with new fixtures to best steward all of the gifts we are given,” said the Featherstones.  “There are so many ways that people can help!”

Contact John and Ruth Featherstone, store managers, at (828) 327-0979, ext. 240 or email for more information about donating or volunteering at the Thrift Store at GHCCM.

The Unifour Foundation was established when the Hickory Merchants Association sold its local credit reporting company to a national company. The proceeds enabled the establishment of the Unifour Foundation, Inc. and for several years funds were managed and administered through a private foundation.

In 1999, the board of the Unifour Foundation, Inc. gifted funds to the NC Community Foundation (NCCF) to establish an endowment – The Unifour Foundation Endowment Fund, which promotes general welfare among citizens in the four counties that comprise the Unifour area: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba.

The Unifour Foundation Endowment awarded more than $218,000 in grants this year and has awarded over $3 million in grants since its establishment in 1999.

Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM), a 501c3 organization, was founded
in 1969 by area churches as a central crisis organization to serve individuals and families in need more effectively and efficiently, and without duplication of services. GHCCM serves the indigent, uninsured, unemployed, under employed, and homeless in our community.

From January 1 through October 31, 2014, GHCCM:

· Provided 5,316 clients with 15,510 services (healthcare, food, showers and personal care products, financial assistance, etc.)

· Distributed $111,742 in crisis funds

· Distributed $400,510 worth of emergency food at a cost of $32,953; an ROI of $12.15!

· Distributed 29,323 bags of food, serving 10,113 households, 19,021 individuals and 5,252 children

· Provided 1,661 clients with vouchers for clothing and household items valued at $26,023

· Provided 8,292 patient encounters for 1,359 patients valued at $736,016 and dispensed 32,325 prescriptions at a value of $3.8 million. The return on investment for services provided through the Community Health Center at GHCCM is $10.04, assuring that donor dollars are being used efficiently to provide excellent quality of care to our patients