Copperas Cove grandmother to open clothing shop for children
Fri, 2016-10-21 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Patricia Johnson might be confined to a wheelchair due to her health issues, but that isn’t preventing her from seeing a longtime dream becoming reality.
Johnson has formed a nonprofit called Thanks For The Little Things, and is in the process of transforming the tiny two-bedroom house at 412 E. Ave. D into a children’s clothing store with a twist.
“I took notice when I was living in North Carolina of the poverty that I had seen, children not having clean clothes, and they would come to church and it really bothered me, that they really weren’t dressed well and were in need of better clothing,” Johnson said. “I started thinking, well, the mothers probably didn’t have the kind of finances that they could afford to buy better clothing. So maybe someday I would have a shop where mothers can bring their children and not have to worry about trying to pay for clothing for them. They can just come in and fill up bags and the children would have nice clothing for a donation.”
That dream went on the back burner, especially from 2012-2014, when Johnson faced health issues and multiple surgeries. However, this summer she decided now is the time to go forward.
On Saturday, Johnson’s family and friends began painting the rooms inside the house and started to make the cosmetic changes to the building’s interior to turn it into a shop.
Johnson said it won’t be like Salvation Army or Goodwill stores, that she has seen mothers in those stores, looking through racks and looking for bargains, and the prices were not affordable.
Thanks For The Little Things will take care of infants and children from head to toe, she added.
Mothers can come into the shop, where they will fill out a form to state what they have need of. Johnson said it’s not an application, but Thanks For The Little Things needs to track how many families and children they will be helping, as they are a nonprofit.
“We will have bags of shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and more,” Johnson said. “We’ll also provide socks and shoes, sneakers, undergarments.
We’ve already spoken to a couple of barbers to do free haircuts for the boys throughout the school year. We are also seeking hair stylists or ladies who know how to braid hair, to keep the girls’ hair done.”
Johnson said she’s ordered 900 children’s books, so every child who comes to the store can get a free book, every time they come.
After a mother fills up a bag with clothing for her children, she will simply put a donation in the box that will be on the counter.
“Nobody’s going to know how much you’re putting in, but one of the things that will be expressed is all you have to do is give a donation. That’s all I ask,” Johnson said.
The shop will be run by volunteers who will assist the mothers as they shop. Johnson is also seeking funds, as well as donations of new and gently used clothing and shoes. What she has collected so far is in a storage unit, and volunteers will start stocking the shelves as soon as work on the building is complete.
“I dreamed of this, and it’s going to be a yellow house,” Johnson said. “The reason I named it Thanks For the Little Things is sometimes the little things count and are more important than the big things.
Small things can mean so much, and that’s all I want to do.”