For years there has been a miracle happening in Alderson, and a second one is developing over this summer. For decades, the ministries of the town of Alderson have been powered by the little shop that sits on the east side of town near the junction of routes 63 and 12 – the Alderson Thrift Shop.
This inconspicuous building is the best thrift shop in three countries. Although 90 percent of the money raised is spent in the 24910 zip code, the thrift shop receives contributions and visitors from four or five surrounding states. Staffed only by volunteers, this six day a week operation provides almost all the funding for all the ministries of the Alderson Ministerial Association: the food pantry, home repair, emergency assistance for health and utility costs, and of course the thrift shop ministry itself, which provides quality merchandise at very reasonable cost.
That’s the present. The future can be found around half a mile north on Route 12 on the right-hand side; a two-story building called the Center for Hope. This facility will be the new site of the thrift shop. Two years ago, the Ministerial Association purchased the shell of a building across from City National Bank and began demolition in preparation for construction of what has been named the Center for Hope, with the second floor named “Tammy’s Second Story” in honor of Tammy Smith Skaggs, who passed away several years ago, but whose love for Alderson and the people of the town was legendary. The second floor contains dorm rooms in which to house smaller work crews, as well as bathrooms, a kitchen, and a sizeable common room for community meetings. These things are all an extension of Tammy’s loving concern for her home.
The Alderson Ministerial Association has received several grants which have provided funds for the construction on the second floor, including the installation of the electrical system, upgrades for the doors and windows, and more. Work has continued as contractors and work crews have been available. They are near the finish line but still have quite a way to go, as they need to be in the building by the middle part of the fall. The sprinkler systems are yet to be installed, however, they have received a $40,000 grant from the Seneca Trail Charitable Foundation for this purpose as well as the HVAC system, drywall, trim, and painting.
They have also received a challenge grant from the Louise R. Lester Foundation for $10,442, which will stretch almost to the finish line once the amount is matched.
The Alderson Ministerial Association is asking for the public’s help. They need the community to be involved in this miracle. How much you can contribute is not as important as your involvement. Every contribution is important and will help move them closer to the dream of having their own place. This means an improved ministry to the community, as they will no longer be paying rent. Also, since they have constructed the Center for Hope with the best possible insulation, they will not have propane bills in the thousands of dollars per year, thus allowing more help to be given in the community.
If you would like to contribute, please send donations to Alderson Ministerial Association, PO Box 641, Alderson, WV 24910.