Elks Lodge 2571 in Jasper saw a way to help some good causes after the Easter Sunday tornadoes in April. Carolyn Grace of Jasper who operates the Outreach Thrift store in Carbon Hill was ecstatic.
The Children’s Home in Eldridge is a special place for Grace because she lived there from the time she was three years old until she graduated from high school. Grace started the store after the death of her son Mark. “The Lord told me to get up and help somebody,” Grace said.
The Outreach Thrift store was in Eldridge for about 13 years but moved to Carbon Hill six months ago. Margaret Keeton, who was also raised at the Children’s Home, helps Grace at the thrift store.
Normally, they sell clothes, knickknacks, and a little furniture to people to raise money for the Eldridge Children’s Home and others who are in need.
The thrift store closed due to coronavirus restrictions, but Grace reopened in April after the tornados swept through Carbon Hill. They had crowds of people who came to look and get things after the storms, according to Grace. “We don’t charge much anyway, but we gave things away to the victims of the tornados,” Grace said.
Lela Yahn, who is the secretary of the Jasper Elks Lodge 2571, and her dad visited Outreach Thrift Store after the tornados, according to Grace. “It must have hit her heart to help us because we were out there helping a lot of people,” she said.
Yahn decided to apply for a grant from the Elks Grand Lodge for the tornado victims, the Children’s Home in Eldridge, and the Outreach Thrift Store. The Elks approved the grant this week.
Tommy Sanders, who is the Exalted Ruler of lodge 2571, said that the Elks Lodge is a non-profit organization that reaches out to people who need help. They’ve given tiny houses and other support to veterans. The group also supports Boy Scouts and other organizations. “We have a great bunch of members who volunteer,” Sanders said.
The Elks Lodge 2571 meets twice a month at the lodge on Arkadelphia Road in Jasper. Each year they do a motorcycle run and several other events to raise money for local charities.
Outreach Thrift Store is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Visit the Outreach Thrift group on Facebook for more information.