Milford church thrift shop gives to Share

MILFORD – It’s just a small boutique-like thrift shop, but it’s making big contributions to Share Outreach.

Amy Howe, manager of Bridge Bargains, located on Spaulding Street, behind the Bridge Community Church, brought a check for $1,000 to Share last week, with a promise of more to come.

The shop is a church outreach effort and opened last summer after Howe and other volunteers filled each room in the quaint old house with artful displays of carefully chosen clothing and household items.

Over the past three months the shop made $5,000 and everything after expenses will all go to local charities and none to the church.

Church Pastor Ronald Bouthillette told Janson to expect another $1,000 check in December.

“It is a lot more profitable than I thought it would be,” he said.

Bouthillette and Howe delivered the check to Share Director Chris Janson on Nov. 20, calling it an installment payment, and Janson gave them a tour of Share’s Columbus Avenue building, which has been newly renovated and enlarged.

Howe said she is please with how the thrift shop has been received by the community.

“A lot of people say ‘This is a boutique like you sometimes see in Portsmouth,” she said. “People like the idea of the money going to the community.

Bouthillette said it’s a good use for the old house, which belongs to the church but hadn’t been used in two years and the town was threatening to tax.

Another church outreach project is a “wood bank.” Instead of a food bank, which is difficult to manage, the church gives chordwood to the needy, and now that wood is selling for $600 a chord, said the pastor, it is much needed.

The church also plans to donate to the Open Cupboard Pantry, which serves the needy in Wilton and Lyndeborough, said Bouthillette.

Bridge Bargains is open on Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursdays from 1 to 6 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations are accepted.

Share is a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing and other necessities to people in need, serving Milford, Amherst, Brookline and Mont Vernon.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at kcleveland@cabinet.com or 673-3100, ext. 304.