POTSDAM — The Council of Religious Concern thrift store has stood at 8 Willow St. for about 35 years, according to manager Andrea M. James. Twenty years ago, the store added a small extension to the back. Now, after decades of north country weather, the store’s roof is badly in need of repair — and CORC needs the community’s help.
CORC accepts donations of quality used clothing and household goods. The sale of these provides money for the store to give vouchers to those who might need free clothing. Last year, the store gave away about $3,500 worth of free clothing as well as 500 store gift certificates, worth $10 each, in the annual Potsdam Holiday Fund baskets, according to Mrs. James.
“We’re trying to help as many people as we can,” Mrs. James said. “Anyone who comes into the store … deserves good quality used clothing.”
Because any money made is used to fund the clothing giveaways, the store does not have the $11,500 it will take to replace the entire roof.
On Oct. 21, the CORC started a fundraiser on the website GoFundMe, with a goal of reaching the full funding for the roof by Nov. 30. It currently has $1,415.
The contractor with whom CORC is working divided the work into three phases. The first is the extension in the back, which needs to be replaced immediately.
“(The contractor) already told us we might not make it through the winter,” Mrs. James said. “What we’re hoping is that we’ll be able to start that soon.”
To fix just the extension will take $2,000, and funding and weather permitting, Mrs. James hopes that can be done during the winter. The rest of the roof is in less dire shape, but will need to be replaced in the next one or two years. The fundraising will be ongoing until the entire roof can be fixed.
“We’ve been here helping the community for all these years, and now we need some help,” Mrs. James said. “Hopefully we’ll get the funds and we’ll get the roof on, and we won’t have any buckets laying around catching raindrops.”
For more information, or to donate to the roof fund, visit https://www.gofundme.com/corc-thrift-store-roof-repairs.