St. Luke’s Thrift Shop Awards $16,500 To Area Agencies

St. Luke’s Thrift Shop President Barb Kiddoo and Rector, the Rev. Luke Fodor, present a check for $5,000 to Steven Cobb and Rick Huber of the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua as part of the first round of block grant awards.

Five area agencies will benefit greatly from the hard work and dedication of a small group of local volunteers as the result of recent grant awards from the St. Luke’s Thrift Shop.

The Thrift Shop, which is located in a small gray house at 409 Pine St., Jamestown, may look quite unassuming from the street, but the energy and community spirit shared by the women and men who keep it running is boundless.

Established in 1982, as a ministry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the St. Luke’s Thrift Shop offers a variety of clothing and shoes for women, men and children and some toys and household goods. The merchandise is restocked for every season. The clients come from many backgrounds; some are referred by local agencies because of need, but most come because of the shops reputation for value-priced, high quality goods.

Another, lesser known fact is that St. Luke’s Thrift Shop has been a major benefactor to the community over the past three decades, awarding over $400,000 in assistance to dozens of area agencies.

This year the organization has changed directions somewhat and moved to a block grant approach; using an application/request for proposal process. Applications for grants were solicited and the first round has been completed with the award of five separate grants to the following organizations: $1,500 to Meals on Wheels, $5,000 to the Chautauqua County Mental Health Association, $5,000 to UCAN City Mission of Jamestown, $5,000 to Chautauqua Striders.

Barb Kiddoo, St. Luke’s Thrift Shop President explained that the change in the award process came about when the group looked at the larger picture in terms of the amounts that were distributed each year.

“Many people don’t realize that all of our profits are donated back to the community — we do not contribute to the church’s treasury,” she says. “In the past we have given as much as $25,000 a year to dozens of groups in small amounts. After assessing the amount that we had available on an annual basis, we determined that our funding would have a much more substantial impact if we were to grant larger awards. The application process also allows us to see exactly where our dollars go.”

Two of the $5,000 checks were presented recently at the monthly luncheon served by UCAN at the Mental Health Association. Steven Cobb, Associate Director of the MHA, who accepted the award for his agency, praised St. Luke’s for its community support.

“The MHA is very grateful for our ongoing partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.” Cobb says. “The work that St. Luke’s Thrift shop continues to do in our community has such a positive effect on so many individuals. This generous donation will greatly increase our ability to serve the needs of all our visitors and participants.”

Mrs. Kiddoo noted that the Thrift Shop welcomes applications from local agencies for consideration under the new format. Organizations interested in more information about the application should contact St. Luke’s Church Office at 483-6405.

St. Luke’s Thrift shop is located at 409 Pine St. and is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about the Thrift Shop please call 664-1887 during the shop’s normal business hours.