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Volunteers spruce up Superior thrift store

by AMY QUINLIVAN Mineral Independent
| December 6, 2023 12:00 AM

During this season of giving, it’s always encouraging to reflect on the year and see how far you’ve come.

And the gals at Women in Timber Thrift Store in Superior have much to be thankful for and be proud of as they take stock of all that’s come and gone through their doors on the hill above town. 

Between upgrading the store, receiving and sorting through mountains of donations, and distributing funds from sales back out in the community, these lady volunteers are the real diamonds in the stuff.

Kathy Verley, who took the helm after the late store manager, Joann Merseal, has overseen great changes and improvements to the beloved second-hand store. When she took over two years ago, Verley replaced the heating units in the large drafty building, along with new insulation installed upstairs. 

“It’s much warmer now up there, Edna was always freezing,” said Verley. 

The crew of volunteers also mounted new shelving in areas throughout the store to accommodate the influx of higher quality and finer donations. 

Verley has partnered with various entities in Missoula like the Home Depot, which allocates certain unsold items, or returned products that are in like new condition, things like faucets, hardware, towel racks, etc. And other larger thrift stores hand out their overflow, and specific clothing needs like jeans, winter coats, and men’s clothing. 

As a 503c nonprofit business, Women in Timber has given $53,157 over the past 27 months, back to Mineral County organizations, and families in need. Groups like the Mineral County Food Bank, the Mineral County Nursing Home, Energy Share – Northwestern Energy, the Pool in the Park fundraising efforts, and the St. Regis Senior Center are just a few from a long list of charities that have benefited from financial contributions generously allotted by WIT. 

Families who have been impacted by house fires, or family deaths, can turn to Women in Timber which offers an important means of starting over. Area high schoolers have been gifted a handsome amount of financial aid for scholarships through the Clark Fork Women in Timber.

Verley remarked, “Every time someone comes in here and shops and supports the store, their money goes right back into the community to these various organizations or their friends and neighbors in need.” 

That’s just one of the countless blessings of the thrift store, that not only presents very nice affordable clothing for families, and other household items without having to make a long trip to Missoula.

 Women in Timber is run by a small but hardworking team of ladies who volunteer their time and energy every week to process loads of clothes, goods, and treasures. Serving their community and ensuring the store runs smoothly behind the scenes, and in the back room are; Norma Cyr, Kat Thompson, Jan Allen, Sandra Connor, Edna Peck, Stacy Neil, and Kathy Verley. 

 The thrift store opened its doors on a rare Saturday last week for holiday shoppers to take advantage of winter sales and in unison with other events in Superior. Women in Timber’s last day of operations for 2023 will be on Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The thrift store closes annually during the colder winter months due to high heating fuel costs, contending with snow and ice, and allowing volunteers some time off around the holidays. Hours of operation will resume in the Spring. Kathy Verley will keep the public up to date on when Women in Timber is back up and running.