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Company donates clothes

July 08, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia flood victims as well as those at homeless and domestic violence shelters will receive donated clothing from a national mail order company with a distribution center in Jefferson County.

Norm Thompson, the national mail-order business with a corporate distribution center in Kearneysville, W.Va., is giving $800,000 worth of new clothes and shoes to the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service, company officials said.

The donation includes more than 44,000 pairs of pants, shoes, undergarments and other clothing, said corporate spokeswoman Tammy Spencer Monday in a telephone interview from the company's headquarters in Hillsboro, Ore.

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The donation will be made on July 21, Spencer said.

The company, with corporate headquarters and retail stores in Oregon, is also making an $80,000 donation to charities there, Spencer said.

But the company decided to aid those in West Virginia because it opened a distribution center in the state in 1994, Spencer said.

"We wanted to be good corporate citizens in the two states where we are located," Spencer said.

The local distribution center employs about 106 workers, with the number rising during the peak catalog season during the holidays, Spencer said.

"The $800,000 donation will go a long way in assisting future victims of floods or other crises," said U.S. Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va. in a prepared statement. "I commend Norm Thompson for this enormous gift that will not only help the people of Jefferson County but the entire state of West Virginia."

"There have been five major floods in West Virginia in the past year," said John Emrick, chief executive officer for Norm Thompson. "We feel it is important to match our donation to the immediate needs of helping flood victims get back on their feet again."

Emrick said the company wants to work with other non-profit programs in West Virginia, particularly in Jefferson County, that serve basic needs.

"We are proud to be a part of the community here in West Virginia," Emrick said.

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