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Volunteers needed to help move thrift shop, food pantry

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CANTON - When her agency moves next week, Catherine E. Mathews will be depending on muscle power to help carry bags and boxes two blocks down Main Street.

Ms. Mathews, director of Canton’s Church & Community Program, is recruiting volunteers to help carry boxes of food, bags of clothing and other items from the third-floor 95 Main St. building to the agency’s new home at the corner of Main Street and Riverside Drive.

She’s lined up some college students, including members of the St. Lawrence University men’s ice hockey team, but she would like help from other groups and individuals.

Those interested in helping sometime between Feb. 13-15 are asked to contact Ms. Mathews in advance at 386-3534 or by email at: ccp74@centralny.twcb.com .

“It’s a community effort, and I want to have fun,” Ms. Mathews said. “It’s always fun when you’re helping others. I’ll have donuts for the volunteers.”

Staff members from NYSARC have offered to transport the agency’s heavy equipment, such as a refrigerator, desks and filing cabinets. Those items will be moved Feb. 11 and 12.

Besides carrying items for the agency’s thrift shop and food pantry, volunteers can help stock shelves in the new building at 7-9 Main St.

The Church & Community Program will be housed the left side of the building. The thrift shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The food pantry will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

The right side of the building houses the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, which opened for business Monday. It offers gently-used clothing in a variety of sizes for children, men and women. Coats, boots, shoes, scarves, hats, mittens and some household items are also for sale.

Hours at St. Vincent de Paul have been expanded from 2 1/2 days a week to five days, with the thrift shop now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers can fill a small bag for $4 and a large bag for $8. The winter clothing that’s on the racks now will be replaced in March with spring and summer clothing.

“Having more hours will help us generate the funds we need to be self supporting,” according to Carolyn W. Shelmidine, manager.

The number of volunteers working at the shop has increased from 10 to 20.

The new building offers large storefront windows that can be decorated for each season and for different holidays such as Valentine’s Day next week.

“We’re more accessible and more visible,” Mrs. Shelmidine said.

A drop-box for donations to St. Vincent de Paul has been set up behind the building.

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