LIFT-UP plans Rifle thrift store
Proceeds from a new thrift store in Rifle will possibly give a leg up to LIFT-UP.The Glenwood Springs-based nonprofit plans to build the store, using grants and directed-giving funds, to handle the administrative costs of running the organization. The future store’s profits will allow LIFT-UP, which provides food, service vouchers and overall assistance to the needy in Garfield County, to put donations directly toward serving the community.”Our goal is that the day will come in the foreseeable future that when you make a LIFT-UP donation, I can look you in the eye and say 100 percent of this will go to help somebody,” said Mike Powell, executive director of the faith-based organization.LIFT-UP originated in 1982 following the oil shale bust, which left many in Garfield County under- or unemployed. As the largest food pantry organization in the county, the nonprofit provides a half-million dollars in food annually to the less-fortunate in Rifle, Parachute, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and New Castle. If a client needs help in going to a job interview or a doctor’s appointment, LIFT-UP will provide a transportation voucher, and if they need new clothes for their interview, he or she can receive a thrift store voucher. “We don’t discriminate, we don’t qualify; if someone comes to us we help them,” Powell said.Despite the tough economy recently, funding flows to the nonprofit have remained fairly steady – especially due to the support of community members who donate to the organization, Powell said. The upcoming Christmas in July fund-raiser, running through the first two weeks in July, will provide additional backing. The 250 volunteers of LIFT-UP distribute food to the disadvantaged at the nonprofit’s five pantries.Glenwood resident Piti Tillman, 71, who began working for the organization in 2001, “wasn’t ready for the rocking chair yet” and decided to donate her time to assist the needy, she said.”Sometimes you get a big hug from people,” she said. Seeing struggling families come into the pantry and knowing they can be helped motivates Glenwood resident and two-year volunteer Joan Northrup.”It’s rewarding for me because they don’t feel so alone – there’s somebody there that can help them somehow,” she said.Contact Christine Dell’Amore: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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