GLADE SPRING, Va. — A nonprofit organization in the Glade Spring town square is closing its doors at the end of the month after attempts to locate an affordable, more spacious building proved fruitless.

For the past two years, Samaritan House Thrift Shop accepted donations of gently used clothing and household goods from the community and resold them at a low price.

The money raised has partially funded Samaritan House Ministries Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation with a mission of providing housing, transportation and program support to formerly incarcerated women in the area.

The board of directors for Samaritan House Ministries recently decided to close the store after two years.

“We closed for several reasons,” said Ann Ledgerwood, who was involved in creating the ministry in 2017.

“There was an immense amount of work involved in running the store with the help of a small group of volunteers. After bills were paid, there was not much left to go toward our mission.

“While we are sad to close the store, the board of directors is looking forward to our next chapter. We are looking ahead to new directions the ministry will take.

“We have a deep appreciation for all of the people who have donated their goods, time and money to this effort. We really appreciate the faithful work by our store manager Kim Yarber. We also thank our customers. We will miss being here.”

A job well done

Working with People Inc. and Hands and Feet Ministry of Damascus, the Glade Spring ministry has accomplished amazing things since its creation — and much of the financial help has come from the thrift store sales.

The most impressive feat was being able to help 15 women reenter society after being released from jail.

Samaritan House Ministries primarily helped women with housing and transportation, but it also has paid deposits in rent, Department of Motor Vehicle reinstatement fees and utility hookup fees.

The ministry also worked with Danny Thompson, chaplain at Southwest Virginia Regional Jail, to help provide a temporary place for women to stay once they are released from jail.

“We paid for women just released from the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail to stay in a hotel for a night or two while they wait to be transported home or to a women’s shelter,” said Ledgerwood.

Thrift store served a real need

The thrift shop also became an unexpected ministry to the community.

“The store has allowed people in the community to purchase clothing and other household items at very affordable prices. I’ve seen many families with children take advantage of our Stuff-a-Sack for $5 events, and they are able to get so much nice clothing for the family. It served a real need,” she said.

“Where do we go from here?” asked Ledgerwood.

“We are trusting God will show us the path forward that He wishes us to take in ministry.

“There are many hurting people in the world. We hope that we can continue to make a difference.”

Samaritan House Ministries can be contacted at P.O. Box 21, Glade Spring, VA 24340, by email at samaritanhouseglade@gmail.com or by calling 276-623-6140.

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Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at news@washconews.com.

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