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Mary Connor, manager of St. Joseph-s Clothing Store at St. Joseph-s Church in Treadwells Mill, arranges merchandise. Wednesday (from 4 to 8 p.m.) was the first day of extended hours for the shop, which benefits the poor. It remains open Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

TREADWELLS MILL -- "Helping hands, helping people" is the motto of St. Joseph's Clothing Store in Treadwells Mills.

The thrift shop, a project begun by Brother Roland Gaudette about eight to 10 years ago, has moved from the basement of St. Joseph's Catholic Church to the adjacent parish center.

With more space and better lighting, the store has extended its hours and is now open three days a week: Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m.

"We are trying to accommodate the people who work," store manager Mary Connor said.

AFFORDABLE PRICES

She said the shop hopes to be able to attract more customers with its new schedule.

"Mondays and Fridays are usually busy," she said. "But this time of the year, with tax time, it has been slower."

She added that business on Wednesday evenings has yet to pick up due to the rough winter weather and lack of publicity.

St. Joseph's has a wide selection of clothing for infants to teens to adults at affordable prices, Connor said.

"Our highest-priced items are basically from a $5 evening gown to a $5 leather coat. Children's clothes may cost about $1."

The store tries to cater to the needs of the people within the community, she added.

Merchandise -- mostly clothing but various knickknacks, too -- comes from donations, while the "employees" are volunteers. Most proceeds from the store go to the parish's Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help people in the parish.

GENEROUS VOLUNTEERS

The need, said the Rev. Joseph Elliott, "keeps increasing."

Through St. Vincent de Paul, aid is distributed in the form of food and gasoline.

"That type of stuff," the pastor said. "Obviously, we don't have unlimited resources.

"We do the best we can."

The Clothing Store's success, Elliott continued, is due to "several women that are very generous with their time."

St. Joseph's, located at 1349 Military Turnpike in the Town of Plattsburgh hamlet of Treadwells Mill, welcomes donations of clean, gently used garments for the shop. Call the church at 561-5039.

"They should always call first, because we're limited in space," Elliott said.

Connor, who has been involved with the store for three years now, said, "It's nice that we can clothe people nicely, and they can afford it."

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