Way Station in Columbiana opens thrift store to public

By D.A. Wilkinson



There’s something new at the Way Station.

And it’s “DeVine.”

The Christian ministry that started in 1988 now is open to people of all incomes with its new store — Devine’s Thrift Store — inside its base at 909 Heck Road.

“As always, we are still meeting the needs in the community,” said Vicki Hopper, executive director.

The Way Station provides a faith-based, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to healing the addiction, poverty, abuse and related social and spiritual issues faced by families and individuals.

Jason Rayle, a volunteer with YouthBuild, came up with the name. YouthBuild helps young people get their high school diploma.

The overall goal, Hopper said, “is to bring the community together over something.”

The name of the store was also chosen to reflect that “the place should focus on all kinds of people.”

The Way Station works in Columbiana County and southern Mahoning County.

In previous weeks, artisan pictures and jewelry from local artists were offered for sale at a 10 percent discount.

Last Saturday, any purchase of at least $20 was cut by 10 percent.

This Saturday, there will be an “EGGSTRAVAGANZA” with discount coupons. A drawing will take place for a boy’s bicycle and a girl’s bicycle.

On April 30, there will be an outdoor carnival called Spring Fun Fest, with free food, games, face-painting for kids and a basket giveaway. That event is being sponsored by the Upper Room Fellowship.

All the events run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kelly Weyand, poverty director for the charity, said, “People are struggling.”

When it comes to looking for jobs, she added, “People are looking and working hard at it.”

But, when it comes to finding a job, she said, “there aren’t a lot.”

Use of The Way Station’s food bank has dropped slightly.

In 2002, the Way Station’s food pantry helped about 45 to 65 families per month. That rose to about 185 per month in 2009. The rate recently has dropped to about 130 families a month.

Way Station officials believe that the drop in their figures stems from the opening of the Salem food pantry in January 2010.

Hopper said, “The Way Station is about hope. I’m planning to expand the reach of that hope through the changes we’re making with DeVine’s Thrift Store.

“Everyone has a part to play. For some it will be shopping, for some it will be donating of their finances or goods, and for some it will be volunteering time.”

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