The Community Chest thrift store donates profits to Fish Hospitality Pantries.
(WBIR-North Knoxville) Do you enjoy bargain hunting at thrift stores? Well, one particular thrift store has super bargains and a specific target customer.
"We love our customers and they love us," Barbra Berney said.
Right away you know there's something a little different about the Community Chest thrift store.
"We're different from any other thrift store because we make friends with the people who come in here. They may come in here and not buy a thing but they might need a hug or they might need just to talk to you. They might need somebody to pray for them. And that's just what we're about," she said.
Barbra Berney explained that the Community Chest sells its donated clothes for one dollar. It's a way to help out people in financial need.
"I actually look at every garment that goes out to make sure that there's no stains and it's in good condition," she said.
For a good cause.
"We do very well but it takes a lot of dollars to operate a business with selling clothes for a dollar but they'll always be a dollar. We'll never change that," she said.
Any extra money from Community Chest supports a place just down the street: Fish Hospitality.
"We're all about showing respect for people even though they are struggling for food," Jim Wright with Fish Hospitality Pantries said. "The food they get here they're able to select from what we have available for the day. They come in and sign in and we give them a grocery bag and then they go down the distribution line and select the items that they most want."
Jim Wright said about 300 volunteers help with food sorting and distribution.
"And more than a third of those 300 volunteers first came for food and the way they were treated made them want to come back and be a part of helping others get enough to eat," he said.
More than 50 churches are involved in the ministry
"Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said the reason people go hungry is not enough people share. So we're looking for more people to share their time, their energy, their resources, to help insure that everyone in our Knoxville community gets enough to eat," he said.
Knoxville has three Fish Hospitality Pantries in Knoxville. They serve more than 10,000 families each month.