MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: CC’s Closet employee loves working for a mission

Published 1:07 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

Anna Mason spent most of her working years in retail, but in the last couple years she has used her experience to help run C.C.’s Closet, a thrift store which is part of Clark County community Services.

Five days a week, the store is open to whoever comes. Sometimes there are treasures to be found, and it’s first comes first served. .

Mason said one of the best parts is all proceeds from the store go right back into CCCS and helping the community through its numerous programs.

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Winchester Sun: How did you get connected with Clark County Community Services?

Anna Mason: Actually, I worked my first year here with the senior employment training program. When I finished the year, they offered me a position and I took it. I’ve been with them approximately two years. Prior to this, I worked at Kmart for 19 and a half years until it closed.

WS: How many people will come in during a typical day?

AM: That’s a hard question because it does vary. I really don’t pay attention to the numbers as much. I have some regular customers who come in. Tuesday is our huge day because we’re closed Sunday and Monday. We reopen Tuesday. We have a Facebook page and people see what’s coming out on Tuesday. They are here lining up between 9 and 9:30. We open the store at 10. They come to the entry area and ask for what they saw on Facebook last night.

It’s a very nice crowd, usually every morning. There are some days we don’t have many people. For those who come in at 1:30 or 2, it’s about impossible to find the item you saw last night on Facebook.

WS: It sounds like a yard sale. If you aren’t one of the first ones there, (the good items) are gone?

AM: Yes. You’re very, very lucky if what you are looking for is still here. Yesterday I had a gentleman whose wife had given him a small list. He came and asked for this and this, and he said, ‘I’m surprised it’s still here.’ He was able to get what he wanted.

I enjoy it because we are helpful to the community as well. We do clothing vouchers. We do food vouchers. I didn’t realize how many people there were that were needy in this community. I’d never really thought about it until I got this job. I was able to see there is a need for this type of place. It’s amazing what they do. People for the most part are very thankful, and I enjoy that. I like to see people getting some help that need help. I’ve had people come in and tell me they are volunteering because they got help, or they are dropping off a donation because now they don’t need the help but they want to help someone else. They’re paying it forward and that’s great. If you get up a little bit, it’s great to help someone else that’s down.

WS: This is a different take on retail.

AM: I’ve worked other places, but the majority of my time has been in retail. I enjoy working here. It’s helpful, and I like that we are helping the community as opposed to taking from the community. Every dollar, every dime stayed right here in the Winchester-Clark County area. You do not have to go somewhere and go, ‘I wonder where my money went to.’ This way, we can we say this is going to help the Winchester-Clark County area. We feed 1,300 families a month. I feel really good about that.

I think people feel better about donating when they know where their money goes.

WS: How often does new inventory come in?

AM: Every day. We usually put out clothing two to three times a day. When furniture comes in, we put it out on the floor. We have a lot of people looking for furniture, and sometimes they find what they want.

WS: What items go the fastest?

AM: Most of the times, the clothes go the fastest. We have dishes that go really well. The dish sets we sell, and then pots and pans. When we have furniture, furniture does not stay long. It’s a real big seller.

WS: Are there things you would like to see more of come through the store?

AM: I think furniture, because a lot of people are looking for furniture at a reasonable price. Furniture is always needed and it’s a good seller. We haven’t had a couch in a while. Beds don’t last long when they come in. For the most part, chairs, tables and dressers go out almost immediately.

WS: You never know what will be here.

AM: You come in and you are pleasantly surprised. There are some things you wouldn’t expect to find. I had a lady come in the other day. She bought a bowl last year and the matching bowl showed up here. She was over the moon because she had looked and couldn’t find it anywhere else. She came in that day and it was just sitting on the shelf. She said you have no idea how long I have looked for a matching piece. It works out great.

I had a lady who was looking for a wheelchair for two and a half weeks. We got a wheelchair in last week. I told her to keep coming in. The other day, I told her we got a wheelchair. She was ecstatic because it was what she needed, it was a good price and it was in very good condition. This is the kind of thing we get. It’s the goodness of people that bring stuff.

WS: It’s got to be rewarding to see people find what they’ve been looking for and for people who find what they need.

AM: It’s very rewarding and that’s what I like about working here. This is what they really want and they’re excited about it. I’m excited for them because they have asked me. We’re not allowed to put anything back for anyone. To have it come in and they show up … there is some excitement there and a definite reward for both of us. That’s what I enjoy about being here.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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