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Volunteers: Donate locally
Clothing donation bins cause concern
1 RIC Rack pic
From left, Marina Peulen, Pam Williamson and Dawn Viemer sort through clothing donated to RIC Rack Thrift Store. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

At a glance

RIC Rack Thrift Store and Food Pantry is at Hwy. 9 N and Perimeter Road.

• The thrift store is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

• The food pantry is open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

• Volunteers are always needed. For more information about RIC Rack, call (706) 265-1371.

Volunteers at a local charity thrift store are concerned with the number of clothing donation bins popping up across the community.

"I counted at least 30 and they're all over the county," said Warren King, a volunteer at RIC Rack Thrift Store and Food Pantry.

The bins advertise opportunities to drop off used clothing, but offer little explanation about what happens to the donations.

King made attempts to contact the company listed on the bins with no luck. The Web site advertised is not valid and calls to the listed phone number were not returned.

"I think these are people who essentially make a profit, maybe make some small contributions to charitable things," King said. "But when you donate to RIC Rack, it stays in the community. It helps people in the community and doesn't go any farther."

For that reason alone, King encourages residents to consider RIC Rack, the only local thrift store run by a nonprofit, the next time they have items to donate.

The store accepts clothing for all ages, household goods, furniture and electronics.

"This should certainly be the choice for folks in our county to donate their items," he said.

Proceeds from the store support the center's food bank, which has over the past year experienced an increase in those seeking help.

"We can take the items, turn them around in the store and use the funds to buy food," King said.

On average, 450 families and 1,500 family members receive monthly food distributions from RIC Rack.

"With a Dawson County population of about 25,000, that means the RIC Rack is serving nearly 6 percent of the county population every month," King said.

After shopping at its thrift store for years, Marina Peulen began volunteering with RIC Rack in 2010.

"If you shop somewhere else, you're going to pay maybe 10 times more, and we have great stuff here," she said. "Everything I wear is from this store.

"This is a great store and great for the community."

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