Smith moving on from thrift shop manager position

August 23, 2010|By JANET HEIM
  • After 10 years Carole Smith is stepping down this August as the manager of World Treasures Thrift Shop in downtown Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer,

Carole Smith said the World Treasures Thrift Shop is about more than low-priced used clothing and household items. It's about meeting the needs of people in Hagerstown.

In some cases, Smith -- who has been the manager for 10 years -- and her group of about 20 volunteers help ease loneliness by providing conversation and companionship.

"That's what keeps me going, serving people in Hagerstown," said Smith, who attends church and works in downtown Hagerstown.

The proceeds from the thrift shop on West Franklin Street benefit the work of the Mennonite Central Committee, which supports relief development and peacemaking around the world and local efforts, Smith said.

"I like the fact that the funds we raise help people in desperate need around the world and the fact that we minister to people in Hagerstown," Smith said.

Smith, 64, will leave her position at the end of August. Karen Harshman, who is running for the Washington County Board of Education, will take over for Smith.


"I'm not retiring, just quitting to spend time on other things," said Smith, who receives a stipend for her part-time work at World Treasures.

Early on, the store housed both the thrift shop and Ten Thousand Villages, which sells fair-trade items from Third World countries. In 1995, Ten Thousand Villages moved to a separate location on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Smith said she was in search of volunteer opportunities in 1995 once the youngest of her three daughters was almost through high school. The thrift shop had put out a call to local churches for volunteers and Smith stepped up.

In 2000, Smith was asked to be the manager of the thrift shop and agreed to take the job. Knowing how devoted and hard-working the volunteers were, it was easy for her to say yes, she said.

"They're wonderful people. Some have been here since the beginning of the store in 1978," Smith said.

Smith grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and moved here for a nursing position with Washington County Hospital. She and her husband, an engineer for 40 years with Volvo Powertrain, have been married 35 years and live in Maugansville.

"I guess when it comes down to helping people, it's more than about meeting needs. It's about sharing the love of Christ with others," Smith said.

World Treasures Thrift Shop is looking for quality donations of used clothing. Donations are accepted during store hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information, call the store at 301-797-8624.

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