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IAM breaks ground on new thrift store

IAM, city of Hendersonville and Cooper Construction leaders break ground on the site of the ministry’s new thrift store. IAM, city of Hendersonville and Cooper Construction leaders break ground on the site of the ministry’s new thrift store.

Leaders at Hendersonville’s Interfaith Assistance Ministry pushed gold shovels into red clay Thursday to break ground on the construction of a new thrift store in Hendersonville.

Once it's complete, the store, located on Jack Street just behind the IAM offices on Freeman Street off Four Seasons Boulevard, will give the ministry its first permanent source of income in its 37-year history.
“We have been on the inside thinking about this for years,” said IAM Board President and Agudas Israel synagogue Rabbi Rachael Jackson. Just moments before the ceremony began, Jackson stood next to a collection of shovels ready for the groundbreaking and near the spot where workers from Cooper Construction company in Hendersonville were preparing for the nearly 5,000-square-foot facility. “The only words are excitement and hope,” she said.
IAM received a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation’s Perry N. Rudnick Endowment Fund toward paying for the estimated $600,000 construction and land purchase costs for the project.
The ministry hopes to complete work on the thrift store in either October or November, IAM Executive Director Elizabeth Willson Moss said after the ceremony. The project was delayed for a about a year due to Covid-19 pandemic, she said.
Moss, Jackson and others who attended the ceremony said the thrift store will give IAM a consistent and permanent stream of income for the first time while also giving people a chance to support the ministry through donations more appropriate for a store than a direct donation to clients.
The ministry will also continue to provide donated clothing to clients, they said.
“Donations will continue to go to our neighbors in need,” Jackson said. “People are welcome to bring items for donation and the thrift store.”
IAM has been blessed over the years to receive enough quality clothing to keep the ministry’s Clothing Assistance Department stocked for people who are in financial crisis because of an illness, a death in the family, loss of a job, an injury, a divorce, expensive car repairs or other challenges, Moss said.
In addition to clothing, the thrift store plans to accept donations of a variety of items including furniture, jewelry, antiques, books, tools, electronics, luggage, pet supplies and even vehicles among other things.
Workers began clearing trees and grading land for the thrift store a couple of weeks ago. Once the site is prepared and a concrete slab is in place, a metal building, which will arrive in pieces, will be put up on the site.
Rick Merrill, the project’s manager and IAM board of directors vice president, said he plans to check on the work’s progress every day.
Merrill said he is excited to see the upscale thrift store come to life.
“The big thing is steady cash flow,” he said. “We have been giving away high-quality clothing.”
Money generated through the thrift store will go toward helping local families in need with expenses including food, late rent payments, assistance with utility bills, clothing, gasoline vouchers and bus tickets, personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies, blankets, sheets and towels, prescription medication and pet food.
IAM encourages local residents to continue giving back to the Henderson County community through financial and in-kind donations to the ministry. Anyone is interested in naming opportunities at the thrift store to help fund its construction, should call Moss at 828-697-7029.
For thrift store donation inquiries, call 828-708-2038.
IAM was founded in 1984 by local faith congregations and organizations. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting residents with basic needs during times of crisis and ongoing financial crisis.
To donate to IAM, visit; mail a check to Interfaith Assistance Ministry, P.O. Box 2562, Hendersonville, NC, 28793 or drop off a donation at 310 Freeman St., Hendersonville, NC, 28792 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays.