New location helps SBA store

Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wilsonville's Leanne Mooney, part of the store's all volunteer staff, hangs a shirt inside the old CVS building in Columbiana. New items are added every day. (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Browsing through the aisles of the Shelby Baptist Association’s Holiday Shopping Store is a yearly tradition for Tracy Garrett.

For the last four years, the Columbiana resident has taken advantage of SBA’s sale of non-essential and surplus items donated throughout the year, with all proceeds benefiting those in need.

Shopping for holiday items Wednesday afternoon, Garrett said this year’s store setup is better than previous years.

Moving the store to the old CVS building at the intersection of West College Street and Alabama 25 was a smart move, she said.

“This area is so much more organized,” Garrett said of the store, which opened Sept. 6 and will close in mid-December. “You know what you’re shopping for.”

The store is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The majority of items are holiday-themed, such as wrapping paper for $1, Christmas stockings from 10 cents to a couple dollars, Christmas trees from $20-$40 and Christmas wreaths starting at $1.

Halloween baskets, masks and face paint are available. Garrett had several Thanksgiving items in her basket.

Halloween baskets, from Spiderman to Batman, are sold at the store. (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

Jeans and jackets are $1 each. Christmas dresses are marked at $25. Stuffed animals are 50 cents to $1. Framed prints, wall mirrors and some furniture are scattered throughout.

“We’re putting new stuff out everyday,” Wilsonville’s Leanne Mooney, 29, said as she moved a new shipment of jeans and shirts from boxes to racks.

Mooney is part of the store’s all-volunteer staff. More volunteers – especially high school students and church youth groups – are needed, said Mooney, a Shelby Baptist Association volunteer for more than a decade.

The old CVS building provides more space and a better location for the seasonal store, which opened Sept. 6 and closes in mid-December. (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

The Shelby Baptist Association collects donated items throughout the year and operates a thrift store inside its building at 225 Walton Street.

The holiday store allows SBA to sell surplus and non-essential items and use the revenue to fund a variety programs for county’s needy.

“We accumulate those things over the year, and then in the fall we’ll have a big sale,” Ministry Center Director Keith Brown said, adding there’s not enough space in the SBA building to store all the items.

The holiday store began four years ago beneath a large circus-style tent in the parking lot. The store then moved to an old physical therapy building about a quarter mile from the new location.

“We do expect to do better just because it’s a larger store with better visibility,” Brown said.