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New thrift store helps community

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    Sharon Moll looks through some of the clothing at the new Care Net Connection thrift store in Nesquehoning. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app for a video from Care Net director Suzi DeMara. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS

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    Baby and children’s clothing are just some of the items available at the new Care Net Connection thrift store.

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    Baby mittens and children’s socks are some of the items available at the new thrift store.

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    Sharon Moll looks at houseware items.

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    Baby and children’s items are just some of the items available at the new Care Net Connection thrift store.

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    Care Net of Carbon County recently opened a new thrift store at its Nesquehoning office on West Catawissa Street.

Published May 18. 2018 09:13PM

Suzi DeMara, director of Care Net of Carbon County, has dreamed of one day opening a thrift store to serve the community for 17 years.

That day has finally arrived.

Earlier this year, the nonprofit organization that aims to help families on their journey in life through a Christ-based network of services, opened The Care Net Connection thrift store at its Nesquehoning location.

“God was instrumental in putting this together,” DeMara said. Through prayer, God sent her the right people to make her vision a reality.

She credited Linda Hudock and Kay Oertner with finding someone experienced in operating thrift stores who volunteered his time to help the organization create the store in the space they had; and for Pat Eckart for beginning her dream nearly two decades ago when she would meticulously sort and stock the material resource room at Care Net’s Lehighton office.

The new thrift store offers a wide assortment of items for just about everyone, from babies to senior citizens.

It is stocked with clothing, shoes, housewares, kitchenware and more, Hudock, the store manager, said.

The store obtains items to sell through donations from the community so what is available is always changing.

“We try to cycle through things to keep it fresh,” Hudock said.

The store welcomes new or gently used donations. “We have to be very selective about what we accept and what we put out. That’s been the hardest thing for us is making that choice. God’s been good in helping us utilize every inch of space though.”

The thrift store enables Care Net to raise some money to maintain two offices, and offer free services and classes for families. DeMara said that the store been well accepted by the community so far.

Hudock said shoppers are pleasantly surprised because they thought the Care Net Connection would be more geared to babies and pregnant women.

“When they came in and saw all the other things, they were surprised,” she said. “The greatest blessing for me is not about the clothes or the stuff in the shop, it’s about the people who come through the door.

“I had the opportunity to meet people in the community who are so lovely and warm,” Hudock said. “It’s a blessing to me. What I hear recurring is we’re really glad you’re here. This town needed something like this. That’s affirmation that we’re doing the right thing.”

The Care Net Connection, located on the Allen Street entrance of the Nesquehoning office at 250 W. Catawissa St., is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

“We are here to serve the community just like Care Net is for families,” DeMara said. “Prices are reasonable. We want to give back to them.”

For more information on Care Net of Carbon County, visit, email or call 610-379-0411.


The Care Net Connection is always looking for donations to keep the thrift store’s inventory fresh.

The nonprofit organization accepts new and gently used items, including:

• Men’s, women’s, children’s and babies clothing and shoes

• Sheet sets

• Curtains

• Kitchenware and small appliances

• Housewares, collectibles and small furniture weighing less than 50 pounds

• Toys, CDs, DVDs and books

• Sporting goods


Items that will not be accepted include electronics, mattresses, cribs, blankets, stuffed animals, car seats, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, large appliances, barbecue grills, carpets, automobile tires and rims, exercise equipment, lawnmowers, fans, encyclopedias and magazines.


Soft items, such as clothing, sheet sets, and curtains can be bagged and dropped off in the green bin in the parking area behind Care Net in Nesquehoning. All other donations should be dropped off during the thrift store’s business hours.


Items such as large furniture can be accepted, but cannot be stored at Care Net. Those wishing to donate large items such as couches or hutches, should call Care Net and set up a time for a staff member to come photograph the item. It will then be sold online, with the piece remaining at the donor’s home until a sale of the item is made.







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