Marietta thrift store benefits Ohio Wilderness Camp

Photo by Janelle Patterson Faye Shaum, left, looks at products with Aaron Betzing, center, and Levi Robinson, right, at The Trading Post, a new thrift store on Pike Street in Marietta.

MARIETTA — Those looking to support wilderness activities for young boys struggling with trauma and behavior issues have a new way to give, through a thrift shop that opened this week on Pike Street.

The Trading Post is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and limited hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

“Our first day open was Monday and we already went through so many items and are taking in many more donations,” said store manager Noah Raber.

The thrift store sends its profits to support Ohio Wilderness Camp, a nonprofit therapeutic behavioral camp for boys aged 9 to 15 located along the Noble-Monroe county line.

“Our camp is licensed by the state as a long-term commitment for boys to help them learn to solve their problems, modify their behavior and get back on a good track,” said Joe Thompson, director of the camp. “Some of our kids have been in the juvenile detention system or are exhibiting behaviors that are leading there. So we offer a different environment that counsels them through an experiential program that teaches responsibility.”

Photo by Janelle Patterson The Trading Post, a new thrift store on Pike Street, opened this week in Marietta after completing renovations to the former Evergreen Office Complex across the street from the Holiday Inn Express.

But the cost of the private camp is not for the faint of heart, with a price tag of $2,000 per month per child housed and fed.

“Most of our families cannot afford a full tuition but we do not turn you away for an inability to pay either, so we have these thrift stores to help raise some of the funds,” Thompson said.

He said families cover about 20 percent of the total cost of a child in the program over 18 months. The trading posts, located in Holmes County and now also on Pike Street in Marietta across from the Holiday Inn Express, cover another 30 percent on average of a child’s tuition.

“Then the rest is covered through private donations and the Amish and Mennonite communities,” Thompson said. “We are a faith-based program trying to focus on giving these boys male role models and a safe environment to talk about their feelings and learn from their mistakes but we take boys regardless of their religious backgrounds.”

Raber said currently the camp draws from northern and western Ohio families, but the installation of The Trading Post in Marietta will hopefully drive community involvement in Southeastern Ohio and aid young boys in this area.

“I’ve been in retail for 27 years and was here in July when we looked at this building,” said Raber. “It was the Evergreen Office Complex before with a maze of 30 offices.”

He said through volunteer work the interior walls were removed, a new roof went on the building and a garage door was installed to take in donations from the 24-hour donation barn at the back of the building.

“And we then go through and check the quality of items, making sure there aren’t stains or holes, that the pieces of the puzzle are there and that the electronics work,” said Raber. “If they don’t meet our standards we’ll still try and donate them to our world mission organization or recycle the appliances if we can.”

As of Tuesday, men, women and children’s clothing and outerwear were fully stocked in neat rows surrounded by high white walls and ceilings.

Also on sale were quilts, fabrics, electronics, housewares, furniture, books and collector’s items, glassware, children’s games and toys.

“We had a great first day with everyone coming in saying they were wondering when we’d get open,” said Raber of Monday’s sales. “We had two bedroom sets in the back that are already gone and we’re shifting store space to add more men’s clothes we’ve gotten in. Besides the manager and assistant manager positions all of the work here is volunteer and we’d welcome more community volunteers to come in and help with the store.”

Aaron Betzing, 18, and Levi Robinson, 17, of Reno were in the store Tuesday grabbing some colorful coats and sweaters.

“I live right down the road here and my sister mentioned they were finally open,” said Betzing. “It’s all cute and very open. I’m excited to shop here more.”

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The Trading Post Thrift Store

Hours:

* 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

* 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday

* 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

* To volunteer call 740-371-5468

* Donations may be dropped off around the clock at the barn behind the building, 1001 Pike St.

* Proceeds benefit the Ohio Wilderness Boys Camp.

Source: The Trading Post Thrift Store

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