Struggling senior citizens home hopes to raise money with secondhand store

October 12, 2007|By ANDREW SHOTZ

In its newest attempt to raise money, a struggling senior citizens home is opening a secondhand clothing store in Hagerstown's Public Square today.

The store, Holly's Fashion Place, will sell donated clothing, shoes and throw blankets.

Holly's Fashion Place is an extension of Holly Place, a South Potomac Street group home for low-income senior citizens, several of whom have physical or mental disabilities.

"We're keeping our prices low so that we can cater to the other low-income people that live in the area," Holly Place Administrator Melanie Davis said.

The shop is small ? about 800 square feet ? but it shows Holly Place's commitment to trying to keep itself going, she said.


Holly Place has struggled financially in recent years.

Last year, Senior Living Alternatives Inc., the nonprofit organization that runs the home, had to close North Holly Place, a separate, but similar facility on South Potomac Street.

State money has helped keep Holly Place from also shutting down.

Davis said funding from the city and the county and public donations have been appreciated, too.

The secondhand shop, which will be staffed by volunteers, is an attempt to try something new.

"If we can generate a couple hundred dollars a month, that's going to make a big difference to Holly Place," Davis said.

Through word of mouth, individuals and groups have contributed enough clothing and other items to keep the shop going for a while, she said.

An anonymous donor is paying for rent for the shop.

Davis said Holly Place remains at capacity with 15 residents. A waiting list has about 10 names on it.

"I get a minimum of four calls a week (from) people begging for beds because they have nowhere else to go," she said.

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