MOULTRIE -- A new thrift store has opened in Moultrie that benefits the Colquitt County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Sponsored by Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA), the Habitat for Humanity Homestore sells donated furniture, building supplies and anything in-between.

"We take anything but clothes," said Justin Kramer, a VISTA volunteer who opened the store across the street from the Moultrie Department of Family and Children Services. Kramer is an AmeriCorps volunteer who opened the store for Habitat. All funds from the VISTA thrift store will go to Habitat.

"We'll take cabinets, doors, anything that has to do with building -- anything can go in a house," Kramer said. "And we just turn around and sell that."

Kramer is from Tallahassee, Fla., but moved to Moultrie to open the homestore.

So far, there are several small tables, a pile of books, a television and a dining room set up for sale in the building on First Street Southeast. It is open today from 8 a.m. until noon, Kramer said.

"This is really rewarding in the fact that you get to help people that you really don't know, and the look of people's faces that you're helping is very rewarding," Kramer said.

The grand opening for the homestore is Dec. 7.

Once Kramer has put his year in for AmeriCorps, the store will be turned over to Habitat.

"It's kind of like the theory 'give a man fish, and he'll eat for a day; teach him how to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime.' And we even go a step beyond that. We don't teach a man to fish, we build fishing schools," he said. "We implement things that will go on past our time. Like once I start the store, it will be there forever and forever to help Habitat, as long as they want it."

Nancy Paine, a former Colquitt County Habitat board member, is helping Kramer. She is a VISTA site coordinator.

"I think it's great," she said. "This store can really help Habitat out once it gets going. ... There's a definite need for this type of furniture."

Kramer has partnered with some local furniture stores that will be donating irregular furniture to the store.



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