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By Jill Runfola

Care & Share 4
Care & Share 4: The beautiful front building of the California United Methodist Church. Care & Share is through the side doors.
Care & Share 1
Care & Share 1: Shop Manager Norma Conley watches over her dad, Ed Sikora. He is 100 years old and volunteers at the store which must account for keeping him young.
Care & Share 2
Care & Share 2: Friendly team members at the shop include L-R: Pastor Heather Wakefield, volunteers Barbara Turner with 25 years of service, Cathy Johnson, and Karen Harris.
Care & Share 3
Care & Share 3: A sunny and pleasant room for shoppers filled with cards, knick-knacks, seasonal items, and more.

Located at California United Methodist Church in California, Pa, the ‘Care and Share’ Thrift Shop is available to people for anything from emergency fire victims’ supplies, bargain shopping for clothes or household items, to simply stopping in for browsing and some great conversation.   Plans are underway for the store to work with residential homes for children and mothers escaping abuse to get them necessary items, along with various other agencies the church already aids.  


It’s all done for the good of the community, according to store manager Norma Conley.  New or gently used items are accepted, such as clothing, housewares, lamps, etc. Not accepted are electronics, TV‘s, and large furniture. The donation bin is always open to the public.  


“When I moved back to the area after retirement from teaching, I started working at Care and Share and have been manager for the last 5 years,” said Conley.  “It takes a dedicated team to operate the store where volunteers work practically every weekday.  Nothing goes to waste; items we can’t use are donated to the Salvation Army.  We also offer weekly sales that keeps our customers happy.”  


Weekly a team comes in, sorting through things, and discarded items go into a bag for the Salvation Army.  Conley says they wouldn’t be able to do this without the Salvation Army, and of course, the volunteers, too.  

“Hopefully,more people will find out about our bargains,” said Conley.  Low prices are for the entire family too.  Newborn-5T are 25-cents, Toddler-10 are 75-cents, 12-14 Kids are 75-cents, Women’s dresses are $2, Men’s shirts are $1.50, and Suits are $4.  There are women’s and men’s shoes for $2.  They also offer other merchandise, such as lamps, purses, books, seasonal items, etc.—stop in to see what all is offered.


The shop has been in operation for over 30 years now, begun by one of their church members, Betty Copenhaver.  Betty had the idea about Care and Share while on vacation in Deep Creek, Md., where she visited a church with a thrift store and the idea was born.  At the time, many of the mines and mills had closed and she helped the community. The store has been open ever since, helping those in need and offering clothes and items at discount prices. Those in serious need are helped at no charge.


All this caring and sharing requires a lot of volunteering.  If you think you have the heart of a volunteer to work for this shop, contact them at the church office at 724-938-2270.  You are also invited to come visit Care and Share to enjoy the shopping and visit the staff:  California United Methodist Church, 227 Third St., California, Pa.  Care and Share shop hours are 2 days a week, Thursdays- 6:00PM – 8:00PM, it is best to arrive early to avoid the rush.  Also, Fridays- 9:00AM – 3:00PM.  All are welcome.


PSC 399430 HRb 


Pizza Station


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