Gautier Thrift Store helps flood relief effort; discourages clothing donations

Gautier Thrift Store helps flood relief effort; discourages clothing donations
Harris-Hankton says it is important to donate the right supplies. (Photo source: WLOX News)

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Even though Aug. 17 is National Thrift Store Day, one Jackson County thrift store has its focus on helping those affected by the devastation in Louisiana.

It's a common sentiment among people in South Mississippi when they talk about the massive flooding in the neighboring state.

"It reminds me of the what happened with Katrina in New Orleans, and also the devastation we saw here in Mississippi," said Gautier Thrift Store owner, Carolyn Harris-Hankton. "I wanna be a blessing and I want to help."

But that Harris-Hankton warns that, as with Katrina, it's important to donate the right supplies. When it comes to donating clothes, the store owner says it's best to hold off.

"They had the clothes out, tons of them from all over the country, but they were sitting them out and the rain was destroying them," Harris-Hankton added.

That's why she says it makes sense to go through places, like thrift stores, with experience in flood relief.

"I have tons of clothes, but I know that's not what they need right now," said Harris-Hankton. "So, I've implemented a fund and I'm asking customers to donate."

Her first goal - help the victims with the initial shock by sending water and cleaning supplies. Once it makes sense to start sending clothes, Harris-Hankton says she'll do just that.

"Mrs. Carol has a heart of gold and not only does She give items, but She gives herself," said Marcia Fisher, who works next to the thrift shop.

Gautier Thrift Store, located at 2707 Hwy. 90, Suite 8, is accepting donations during regular business hours. For additional details, call 228-627-8333.

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