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THRIFT STORE AIMS AT NEEDY DISCOUNT SHOP A STEP TOWARD EXPANDING AID FOR SANTA CLARITA-AREA FAMILIES.

Byline: Sharon Cotal Staff Writer

CANYON COUNTRY - For nearly five years, Roger Presgrove has been providing food, vitamins and hygiene products to needy families around the world.

His organization, Children's Network International, stores the goods at its warehouse in Bell. But recently the Canyon Country resident started looking for a way to help families in his back yard, and a thrift shop opened by the network in December is one way he plans to do just that.

Second Time Around, located at 27219 Camp Plenty Road in Canyon Country, is different from the usual shop that only sells used items. This shop offers new hygiene products at a reduced price, and gives individuals and families who are down on their luck access to food boxes.

While food is not distributed from the shop, those in need are directed to the network's storage facility or a local church that participates in the program. Food can also be delivered to those without transportation.

``The purpose of the thrift shop is to get the food boxes out, but at the same time, we are able to provide people with more than just food,'' Presgrove said.

With freshly painted white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, Second Time Around has a bright, airy atmosphere. Sofas covered with throw pillows surround a coffee table at the front entrance, designed to make people feel welcome.

Shop manager Charlie Hoover is particular about the items he selects for resale, and ensures that the clothing, toys and trinkets are organized so shoppers can see everything the shop has to offer in a short time.

``People want a good deal, but they don't want a piece of junk,'' Hoover said.

The store features clothing items for $1 to $2 but also has a boutique area with name-brand items selling for $12 to $15. There's also an area called ``Granny's Attic,'' which is stocked with vintage and collectible items.

Proceeds from the shop will be used for the network's food ministry. The food boxes are filled with basic staples like rice, beans, pasta, breakfast pastries and canned foods, and are available upon request when someone is sent to the shop from a local church.

``We really want to get more churches involved, so that we can help low-income people through the churches,'' Presgrove said. ``Churches know which people are going through hard times and who needs help.''

The network gives food boxes and coupons for free items at the thrift shop to any church that becomes involved with the program. The churches then distribute the items to those in need.

Presgrove plans to meet with the Santa Clarita Valley Evangelical Ministers Alliance at the end of the month to encourage the churches in the alliance to help, including allowing the organization to place 55-gallon drums outside church entrances for members of congregations to contribute.

``We want to make a difference in Santa Clarita and we know we can do it. We just need to let people know what we are doing,'' Presgrove said. ``I know there is a need up here, but there are so many resources that it doesn't have to be like that.

``No child should ever go to bed hungry in Santa Clarita.''

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color) Charlie Hoover, manager of the Second Time Around thrift store in Canyon Country, can get food supplies to needy families in the area.

(2 -- color) Georgette Van Eyken examines a stuffed bear for sale at the Second Time Around thrift store now open in Canyon Country.

Charlotte Schmid-Maybach/Staff Photographer
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 6, 2002
Words:591
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