Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Church Mouse Celebrates First Anniversary ; Thrift Shop Is a Ministry of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Church Mouse Celebrates First Anniversary ; Thrift Shop Is a Ministry of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Article excerpt

bcalwell@cnpapers.com 304-348-5188

On a cold February day, all was warmth and energy inside The Church Mouse, a well-stocked thrift store that has become a welcome addition to the Cross Lanes community. A ministry of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church, The Church Mouse recently celebrated its first anniversary at 5457 Big Tyler Road, across from Adance Auto.

Kim McCluskey, a member of The Church Mouse's board of directors, said the small thrift shop has become a community gathering place for those seeking bargain-priced items or just someone to talk to.

Staffed by volunteers, The Church Mouse is a bargain hunter's paradise.

Visitors can find everything from housewares, to clothes, to furniture, to collectibles.

The Church Mouse came about after youth from Cross Lanes United Methodist had spent some time, as part of a mission trip, working in thrift stores in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The thrift stores were affiliated with various nonprofit groups.

When they returned to Cross Lanes, they said, "Why can't we do that at home? McCluskey said.

And thus, The Church Mouse thrift store project was launched. It opened Dec. 1, 2014.

"For three years, it (the idea) sort of mulled around, and we looked for a spot. We finally took the step, and we've been open a year, she said.

All the items for sale in The Church Mouse have been donated by members of the community. Once a month, volunteers have what they call "Sorting Saturday at Cross Lanes United Methodist Church on Frontier Drive, where people can donate items.

"We have a drop-off once a month at the church, because we don't have a lot of space here. We separate everything over there and then we bring over (to the shop) what we can use. We have a storage unit, where we take the other stuff and then slowly bring it out. Every day, we bring something new out.

McCluskey said that in the year The Church Mouse has been open, it has become a social hub, and, because it is a ministry of Cross Lanes United Methodist, visitors needing help can be pointed in the right direction. …

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