A new thrift store has opened in Clintonville, and it's purpose is two-fold.
First, the store will offer many thrift items at reasonable prices; and second, all proceeds from the store will benefit the Waupaca Pregnancy Information Center (WPIC).
New Beginnings Community Thrift Store, 106 N. Main St., Clintonville, opened for business on Saturday, Jan. 7. The store will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"We wanted to start this ministry as a funding partner," explained Heather Ruesch, director of the WPIC. "In addition, we now have some outreach into the Clintonville community and we hope to attract lots of clients from this side of the county.
"We would also like to open satellite centers in New London this spring and in Clintonville next summer," Ruesch stated as she explained her desire to see the WPIC reach into each community in Waupaca County. "We want to get to know this community and find out what it's all about, and we want to do that with other communities as well."
Ruesch said fundraising is a dying breed, and explained that it has been very difficult to raise funds to keep the WPIC on track.
"As director, I have to think outside the box," Ruesch said. "We are looking for ways to support the PIC and expand at the same time. One way to do that is to take our resources and put them into action through a venture like this thrift store. We had been receiving donations for our Care Closet in Waupaca, and we had more than we could use. In June, Rebecca Ripley had an idea to start a thrift store. The idea has taken off, and everything in the store has been donated. I think it's going to be very successful."
Ruesch is coordinating efforts to raise awareness in each community in Waupaca County, hoping to show residents the need for a pregnancy information center. She uses recent statistics to show that the services offered by the WPIC are much needed.
"A study of 15-19 year olds in this country showed that one in four had a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). In Waupaca County, it's one in three; that's a big deal," she said. "Surveys show that 42 percent of our youth are sexually active; of those, 65 percent are using contraceptives, but one in three have an STD.
"When we talk to parents about these statistics, they're shocked. We want to help raise awareness and be invested in prevention. Our goal is to ultimately put ourselves out of business-we want to eliminate the need for the services the WPIC provides," Ruesch commented. "Our goal is for adults to be the compass that direct kids' standards, morals and actions.
"It's not unreasonable for parents to tell their kids 'don't have sex.' The current standard has changed, and many people believe it is unrealistic-so they're just giving kids contraceptives," continued Ruesch. "But that doesn't work either, and it exposes kids to STDs.
"Parents need to be informed-that's why we want to expand and offer enrichment through the WPIC to hit home the concept of prevention," concluded Ruesch.
The WPIC is a Christian non-profit organization that provides resources on issues dealing with life and sexuality, including abstinence/sexual purity resources and education, unplanned pregnancy, abortion and sanctity of human life, adoption resources, relationship resources, post-abortive support, STI and STD information and education, and contraceptive and PLAN B education.
To learn more or partner with the WPIC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-256-4144.
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