There was buzz around town before Thrift Place even opened its doors. A new place to shop for unique and discounted goods? Sweet. Another option for donating stuff our family no longer needs? Fantastic. But the real draw of the approximately 6,500-square-foot space is its mission: to help local people in real, tangible ways. All proceeds from the shop go towards Donations for Cancer, an organization started by longtime Holly Springs resident Bill Weber. He and everyone involved with the organization is either a cancer survivor or related to someone who has fought the devastating disease. Donations For Cancer’s tagline, “To us, it’s personal,” rings true. It’s the reason why Bill and several others have worked very hard to create something special. Among them? Helen Sedgwick, the organization’s main board member, and James Hardt, an IT volunteer who helped with the website, store POS-system, and all other things technological. Also Bill’s dad, William, has been volunteering more than full time hours, 7 days a week, all through the stocking and opening phases of the store. It’s been an incredible group effort.
Bill’s philosophy? “If you build it, and do it right, people will come.” And people have come. Shortly after opening, someone donated a very nice, brand-new bike, and another person donated a beautiful set of china. These were people whose lives were touched by cancer. The store did better its first month than expected, and Bill hopes that as news spreads about their mission, foot traffic will increase and the impact they have on the community will grow from there. Thrift Place’s eclectic nature is sure to draw people in; Bill shops at auctions so that he can include quirky items. At time of writing the store has an intriguing cigar box collection, retro Tom and Jerry juice glasses, Hummel plates, and collectable antique cars. Sara, Bill’s newly hired cashier, will be happy to chat with you about your items. (She was, first, a frequent customer who was offered a job.) As news about the organization grows, the store will only become that much more unique. Holly Springs Baptist Church was generous enough to donate leftovers from a rummage sale; Bill hopes other churches and organizations will consider doing the same.
Bill says he and the others who helped establish this organization simply wanted to do something to give back. Rather than mail off a check to a large national cancer research organization, he wants to focus on local folks. This could mean anything from paying a lofty medical deductible to installing a wheelchair ramp in someone’s home. (Bill was a contractor for a number of years.) Sure, some people have great medical benefits and a huge support system, but many others don’t. That’s where Donations for Cancer is eager to step in.
A critical component of the organization is its blog. Donations for Cancer has created a platform for those touched by cancer to tell their story. People can log on and share their experience, entering into a community of people who truly understand. Whether it’s a story of personal struggles with cancer or a memorial page set up for a loved one who has passed, each blog post resonates. In addition to fostering a sense of community, Bill and others on the board hope to identify people who need the organization’s assistance via these posts. There is power in sharing your experience.
How can Holly Springs help? Spread the word about Thrift Place. Come in and peruse the goodies. Donate your items. What better way to honor a loved one who has passed by paying it forward in a very real, direct way. Like their Facebook page. Write a blog post. Share your story.
Cancer is marked by out-of-control cell growth. We can’t control much about it—who gets it, why they get it, what the prognosis is—but we can stand with Bill and his organization to change the lives of those who are affected among us. And it doesn’t get more local than Donations for Cancer.
7244 GB Alford Hwy
(strip mall next to Wal-Mart)