Clothing exchange reopens at Bethel ParkDecember 20th, 2011
BETHEL — Shoes and boots, coats and sweaters, scarves, gloves and mittens are all neatly hung or piled in the new home of the Bethel Area District Exchange.
On Friday afternoon, a celebration was held at Bethel Park Apartments at 23 Mason St., for the reopening of the resource used by hundreds of people in the area.
“This is a wonderful space,” said Cathy Newell, a member of the exchange’s board who has been looking for a new location for several months.
For many years, the District Exchange was in the basement of the former Ethel Bisbee school on Philbrook Street. When SAD 44 moved its central offices from the former school to an upstairs suite at Norway Savings Bank, the Exchange had to leave.
The space, and most of the utilities, are being donated by Rosa Scarcelli, owner of Stanford Management, the organization that built and owns the 24 rental units in Bethel Park.
“We have space at Bethel Park. This community is so active and so engaged that we wanted our property to be more active,” Scarcelli said. “People are hurting.”
She said the only task Exchange volunteers are asked to do in return for the space is beautify the exterior lot of the former day care center.
The light, airy building housing Exchange offices and clothing, is leased to the group for one year, with an option for future years, Scarcelli said.
She learned of the need for a new space from Bethel Park manager, Clyde Brooks.
Clothing items for men, women and children cost $1 to fill a medium-sized grocery bag.
All proceeds go to the Bethel Area Food Pantry housed in the Church of the Nazarene and coordinated by David Bean, Newell said.
Scarcelli said her company is also donating $1,000 to the area’s food pantry.
A team of 25 volunteers operate the District Exchange on Mondays, 1-4 p.m., Thursday, 4-6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations are also taken at these times.
Newell said the board hopes to open for additional hours after the holidays.
She said use of the food pantry as well as the Exchange has increased in recent years and months.