[/media-credit] Ivey Johnson places a dress on a rack at her new thrift store on Vandiver Dr. in Lincolnton. Proceeds from the sales of clothing at the store are intended to help stock a food pantry to help feed poor members of the community.JENNA-LEY HARRISON
“I’m not trying to get rich off this, just be a blessing to the community,” Ivey Robinson said of her nonprofit organization and new Lincolnton consignment shop.
Robinson opened the In My Father’s House Community Support Services, located at 119 Vandiver Drive in Lincolnton, in August 2010 as a way to offer needy residents discounted clothing and other support services including free food. All clothing items are under $5, and a majority of baby clothing cost just $.50.
“We don’t keep anything in here that we wouldn’t wear ourselves,” Robinson said. “Some items still have tags on them.”
The organization additionally offers mentoring services and helps individuals find jobs. Last year, the organization additionally held a drama camp for school-aged children, but Robinson is unsure whether she’ll hold a similar camp this summer.
“My focus right now is mainly providing the food services,” she said.
In April, Robinson opened Favored by God Boutique and Consignment inside the non-profit facility as a way to raise funds for food items.
All proceeds from the boutique, which sells gently used evening and wedding gowns, go to benefit the In My Father’s House food pantry, which hands out food items once a month including this coming Tuesday at the facility.
“There are people who need food until it’s unreal,” Robinson said. “We get tons and tons of clothes, but what we need is food and help paying the rent.”
At one point during the year, she said she had to close the facility due to lack of funding.
“We had to close the doors for a couple of weeks to figure out how to keep the lights on,” she said. During that time, needy residents still flocked to the facility.
“No one was here, but a line was forming outside,” Robinson said.
While oftentimes Robinson’s church, House of Faith International Ministries in Vale, assists her in purchasing the food, she said she’d rather the clothing and consignment dress sales fund the food purchases in the future.
Robinson started the organization two years ago after she said God spoke to her and her church through prayer. Since then, she and roughly 10 volunteers have remained dedicated to serving the community.
“It’s been absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “The Lord spoke it in prayer…and we are just looking forward to continuing to do what we do. The whole thing is to generate income to continue to feed and clothe the community.”
Starting this month, individuals will be able to bring vouchers to the facility in exchange for free clothing. Robinson said she’s been working with other local nonprofit groups including Christian Ministry to offer the vouchers. “It’s a way to network with our community,” she said.
“My biggest desire is that there would be no one in Lincoln County without clothes or food,” Robinson said. “That’s all we got is one another.”
In My Father’s House is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For donations, call Ivey Robinson at (704) 419-3298 or (704) 477-7751.