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Thrift Store Raises Money For Senior Citizens In Linn County

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A new Cedar Rapids thrift store is using their sales to help seniors in need. Changing Hands Thrift Store will raise money for a organization called Seeds 4 Seniors. That organization was started by the Neighborhood Church in Cedar Rapids and provides food and medical supplies to needy seniors in Linn County.

On Saturday, Changing Hands had its official grand opening. Dozens of people flowed in and out of the store, finding items at a cheap price. All the merchandise in the store is donated.

"It's helping us take care of our mission, which is taking care of seniors," Pastor Jim Coyle, of Neighborhood Church said.

Seeds 4 Seniors has existed for about 2 and a half years. Since they started, they've served more than 11,000 seniors. The program has provided about $360,000 worth of medical supplies and more than $800,000 worth of a food.

"Those numbers, right there, just tell you the need, and that's what we're trying to help with is that incredible need just here in Linn County," said Coyle.

Sandra Foshee, of Cedar Rapids, shopped around the store on Saturday.

"I'm on a fixed income and this helps out a lot," she said. "It's going back to the community and to the seniors."

Foshee knows first hand what the Seeds 4 Seniors organization can do.

"I have multiple sclerosis, and I needed a chair to go in my tub so I don't slip and fall. They gave me one without me having to pay," she said.

Coyle said this is a great time for the store to open because the number of seniors in need is on the rise.

"The population is growing immensely, we have seen our numbers go up even in the last several months," he said.

The store also picked up some additional cash on Saturday.

"They will come in, and I will give them a price and then they will give more," Randy White said.

"One individual's bill was $6 and they insisted on giving $10."

The store is located at 2737 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids, next to the Dollar General. If people would like to donate unwanted items they can drop them off at the store anytime during business hours. The store is open Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.. On Mondays and Thursdays, all senior citizens receive an additional 50 percent discount in the store.

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