The Children's Chest: Breckenrige's best kept secret
Families looking to save a few bucks on gently used summer clothes will have the opportunity to purchase as many items as they can fit into a bad as part of the $1 sale through the Children’s Chest of Breckenridge.
The Children’s Chest is sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Breckenridge and its $1 sale is just the first of many activities planned for the upcoming holiday season.
“It’s $1 for a grocery-size bag,” Children’s Chest Volunteer Ann Heckal said. “Stuff it as full as you want with spring and summer clothes. We do a sack sale twice a year and, as quickly as possible with turkey dinner coming up, switch over to summer clothes, put them in storage and bring out the winter clothes.”
Heckal said each item on the shelves has gone through a four-stage sorting process to insure the quality of the clothes. The clothes are then sorted into clothes based on sex and age group. Although labeled a clothes store, Heckal said she receives a little bit of everything with rooms dedicated to shoes, men’s and women’s clothes and much more.
“Sometimes we get them and they’re just too good to throw away,” Heckal said. “Sometimes we share the donations with people from Cafe Love, but the majority we throw away if they’re not in good shape are a bad style or we donate them to Goodwill or Salvation Army.”
Although open only one day a month, Heckal said the store will assist area parents in case of an emergency.
“I’ve had trouble getting the word out, but we have regulars that come the third week of every month, except June and July,” Heckal said. “They come and bring friends. Church people come and outfit their grandkids for the weekend because parents don’t always send the right clothes. Anybody in town can use our facility.”
Heckal said the building has served various organizations in Breckenridge over the years, but with the previous occupants converting it into a school house with classrooms. She added the store is run entirely by volunteers with some having an affiliation to First United Methodist Church, but that is not a requirement.
“We don’t ask questions about income,” Heckal said. “Some of the very poorest of the poor come here and sometimes we find things we want to take home with us. I wish the word was out better so people can come to us and we can help them. One father tell us, ‘Well, here I am with two elementary age daughters and their mom dumped them on me without any clothes.’ He was able to outfit them for school and there was no charge for that gentleman.”
Heckal said the funds received from sales only goes to keep the utilities running and they encourage sales to those receiving the clothes can take ownership of what they have.
“We run a good electric bill and we put everything back into the Children’s Chest,” Heckal said. “Also through W.I.N.G.S., Women in God’s Service, we also help other families that need help with a couple of hundred dollars here or there or an appliance for couples that don’t have.a stove. There are different ways that we can help.”
The Children’s Chest opens from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.