On any given Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Ladies of Charity Thrift Shop in Harker Heights is usually crowded with customers searching for a deal.

Ladies of Charity, a ministry of St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church, operates from funds generated through thrift shop sales. The store’s merchandise is donated by the community, according to the church, and in fact, every aspect of its operation relies solely on donations and volunteers.

Judy Gilliland, assistant manager, is one of those volunteers. She finds pleasure in sharing her talents and gifts at the shop.

“It’s nice to give something back to the community,” she said. “By offering things at bargain prices, we help the needy and poor in the community.”

Joyce Dillman has been the store manager since the doors opened in 1996, and she said all business obligations, charitable donations and monthly expenses associated with operating the retail store have continually been met since then.

Despite the group’s gender-specific name, Dillman said all volunteers are welcome to work in the store.

“Men are welcomed to volunteer but shy away due to the name of the organization; however, some spouses help out when needed,” Dillman said.

When Dillman is not on the schedule, Sylvia Schnapp, the president of Ladies of Charity, works with a team to manage store operations. She works with volunteers ringing up purchases, processing new donations, sorting, pricing and taking merchandise to the sales floor. When volunteers are not at the register, they help shoppers.

Rosa Hill of Harker Heights is a regular customer. Her favorite part of the store is the bargain table where a filled bag of goodies costs $1.

“Shopping here is better than other thrift stores,” Hill said. “Whatever people need in their homes you can find here.”

Thrift shop proceeds are given back to the community based on the decision of board members. Schnapp said the thrift shop operates independently of the church and all decisions are determined by the voting membership. Local pastors refer families needing emergency relief to the store, and in some cases, the ladies willingly give items from the sales floor to aid families in need.

The Ladies of Charity Thrift Shop, at 1005 S. Ann Blvd., Harker Heights, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, and 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every first Saturday of the month. For more information, call the store at (254) 680-7970, Schnapp at (254) 698-2990 or Dillman at (254) 681-1326.

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