Brenda Brooks and Audrey Early opened the Curry Thrift Center in the Curry Plaza on Alabama Highway 257 in Jasper on July 3. They recently presented the members of the Curry Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service with the first check from the store.
“We wanted to do something that would allows us to give back to the community, and this is what we came up with,” Brooks said. “We decided to open a thrift store and all the profits we make above the cost of operating the store, such as paying our utilities and rent on the building, will go to the fire department.”
Brooks said all the items in the store have been donated by citizens living in Curry and surrounding communities, and they try to make the prices on everything as affordable as possible.
“We don’t do any consignments or buy things to sell or anything like that. We do our best to keep the prices where people can afford to buy things, and the money we raise from the sale of each item goes to help our local fire department,” Brooks said. “Because, as you know, volunteer fire departments, no matter what community you live in, never have enough money to do what is expected of them. So we figured if they were better trained and equipped then everyone in the community would benefit.”
Brooks said the slogan for the store echoes the very reason for opening the store in the first place.
“Our slogan is ‘we’re not just another thrift store, we’re a community project.’ We picked the fire department, because we want the whole community to join in the support,” Brooks said. “By bringing in donations and spreading the word so we can get more customers, that will give us money to give to the fire department, which will, in turn, help everyone in the community. So it’s a never-ending circle, one big wheel that keeps on giving throughout the year, that’s what we’re after.”
Brooks recently presented the Curry Volunteer Fire Rescue Service with a check from the first quarter of sales from the store in the amount of $250, along with an $80 check from a drawing that was held recently at the store for a chance to win an old-timey, metal, Igloo cooler.
“We were so excited about being able to present the fire department with the check at the end of our first quarter of business. It wasn’t a lot, but I think we did pretty good,” Brooks said. “Considering we didn’t have a clue what we were doing in the first place. We’re still in the learning phase, but I think once the word gets out, maybe things will pick up, and, who knows, the next check we present will be even bigger. At least, that’s what we’re hoping for anyway.”
Brooks said the Curry Thrift Center has received several donations since it opened and has the following usable items for sale: children and adult clothes in a variety of sizes, purses, sheets, comforter and bedding sets, dishes and other household items and decorations, small and large appliances, several pieces of furniture, books, light fixtures and other items.
“We even have a kitchen or bathroom sink if you need one. And we do our best to make sure everything that comes into the store is nice and clean,” Brooks said. “As matter of fact, if anyone has one, we could use a washing machine that is in good working order so we can wash the items that are donated. We have a dryer, but our washing machine quit on us a few days back, so if anyone has one, please let us know.”
Brooks said all the money donated by the store to the Curry Volunteer Fire Rescue Service will be used to purchase the necessary firefighting equipment and provide up-to-date training for the department’s members so they can better serve their community.
The Curry Thrift Center is located next to Dollar General in the Curry Plaza and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.