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Local thrift store supports ministry in Haiti

   

Local thrift store supports ministry in Haiti

The wrinkle-free, stain-free clothes are $2 each, the household goods even less, and Thirteen Thrift Store is by no means typical.

All the proceeds from those shirts, pots and pans and costume jewelry go to feeding, educating and ministering to people in Paillant, Haiti, about 65 miles southwest of Porta Prince.

Named Thirteen Thrift because there were 13 in the first mission group, the numbers have changed, but the commitment of the group, 13forHaiti, has not.

The store, at 1301 A U.S. 501 E. in Conway, supports the Haitian ministry and is run by Conway resident Kent Griggs who's been to Haiti 22 times since the first 2011 trip.

The ministry has facilitated the building of a church and a school that goes from kindergarten to seventh grade with about 75 students who attend at no cost.

The ministry donated ovens to a man who now bakes bread for the community.

It's built a 12 x-20-foot home - with a concrete floor - for a family of six who'd been living in an 8 x 15-foot shelter with a thatched roof and a dirt floor.

"When we gave the man the key, he didn't know what to do with it," Griggs says. "He'd never seen a key to a house."

The ministry brought 100 toothbrushes to people who didn't have one.

It's taught some people to teach and others to preach.

Thirteen Thrift Store is open Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

It accepts donations of good, clean clothing, household items, sporting goods, hardware, tools, kitchenware and other general merchandise. Griggs, who can be reached at 843-421-6381, will pick up donations if need be.

For more information, visit www.13forhaiti.org or the Facebook page.

And while the ultimate goal of the ministry is to help the Haitian people, Griggs is also helping locals.

"The prices here are so low because I want people to be able to come in here and get their needs met," he says.

Conway resident Mark Skipper, who's been to Haiti with the ministry about half a dozen times, says, "If an outsider was looking in [in Haiti], they'd think we were doing everything for them. But emotionally and mentally, they bless me more than I do them."

Skipper, who owns Trademark Home Maintenance, says he helps out with logistics when he's in Haiti. "I fix things, like generators, that are broken."

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