Residents across the country have been inspired to de-clutter their homes after watching the Netflix original reality series “Tidying Up” starring soft-spoken Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo, who urges residents to only keep things that “spark joy” in their lives. If you’ve been bitten by the tidying-up bug and have collected a number of items that no longer spark joy for you, consider donating your unwanted items to the following local charities and businesses.
Ozark County Christian Thrift Store
A local non-profit organization, the Ozark County Christian Thrift Store, located a block off the north side of the Gainesville square, is a great asset to those in need or those going through a difficult time. The store frequently donates clothing, blankets, dishes and household items free of charge to fire victims and others in the community who need help. The store also uses the money from the sale of items in its store to pay electric and other utility bills for residents who are going through difficulties. The thrift store partners with Victory Mission in Springfield, a charity that helps a variety of individuals in the area, passing on items that aren’t sold or given away locally.
• Open hours: The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Donations can be dropped off during business hours, or pickup of large donated items can be arranged by calling the store. Store owner Lori White asks that donations not be left outside the store during closed hours because several items left outside the store’s doors have been stolen.
• What it accepts: The thrift store accepts most gently used items; however, it does not accept older TVs, computer monitors, printers, mattresses or large appliances. Donations should be clean, stain-free and without holes. Lori says she doesn’t have a washing machine at the store, so donors are asked to bring in items that are washed, if needed, and without pet hair or smoke odor.
• How to help: Residents can help further the mission of the Ozark County Christian Thrift Store by donating gently used items to the store to sell and by financially supporting the store by shopping.
• How to apply for help: Residents who may need help with free clothing or other household items or who may need help paying an electric, heat or other utility bill should call the store at 417-679-3351 for more information.
• Contact information: The Ozark County Christian Thrift Store is located at 288 N. Main Street in Gainesville, a block from Gainesville City Hall off the northwest corner of the square. For more information, call the store or search for Ozark County Christian Thrift Store And Resource Center on Facebook.
Ozark County Volunteer Library
The Ozark County Volunteer Library is a non-profit organization completely operated by volunteers, including an all-volunteer board and several volunteer librarians. The library, which doesn’t receive any federal, state or local tax funds, is supported 100 percent by the financial generosity of local residents and occasional grants. Library cards are free to residents of Ozark County and are offered for a small fee to residents of other areas. The library is stocked with more than 20,000 books, including a special children’s nook with books and a reading table. Comfortable seating is also available in the lower level for visitors who want to read at the library.
The library offers public access to computers and broadband internet for a small fee. Visitors who have their own laptops, smart phones or other electronics are welcome to connect to the library’s wifi for free. It puts on reading events for the local Head Start and for homeschool students and offers a free magazine exchange. A continual book sale operates in the lower level. Most paperback titles are 50 cents; larger library editions are 75 cents. Hardbacks are $1.
A large board room is also available for use by area residents, community organizations and businesses. The attractively decorated room has two large tables and can comfortably seat 25 people; the door can be closed for meetings. Those using the board room are asked to only conduct meetings during the library’s open hours. The board room is free for local non-profit organizations. A $25 per session fee is charged to businesses, individuals or any other users. Call the library for more information or to reserve the room.
• Open hours: The library is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Donations can be brought to the library during open hours.
• What it accepts: The library accepts donations of all genres of books, magazines, encyclopedias, audiobooks, DVDs and other reading materials.
• How to help: Residents can help the Ozark County Volunteer Library by donating reading materials, purchasing books in the lower level of the building and by making financial donations. There is also a need for volunteers to help operate the library during their open hours.
Both local residents and those far away can also support the library by joining the Friends of the Library club. Friends of the Library members pay a $10 monthly fee and receive a monthly newsletter in the mail about Ozark County Library happenings and updates. The funds generated from the program are used to keep the library operating. Members can pay monthly or pay the $120 annual fee at once. Stop by the library to sign up or send a check payable to the Ozark County Volunteer Library to P.O. Box 518, Gainesville, MO 65655. Make sure to indicate in a note that the check is for a Friends of the Library membership.
• Contact information: The library is at 200 Elm Street in Gainesville, across the street from Missouri Ozarks Community Health and the Gainesville post office. For more, call the library at 417-679-4442 or search for Ozark County Library on Facebook.
Non-profit organization Options Pregnancy, which opened in Gainesville in early December, gratefully accepts donations of gently used baby clothing, toys, furniture and other baby gear. Focused on providing support to soon-to-be mothers who have little family or social support, Options Pregnancy offers free pregnancy testing, parenting education, a first-trimester ultrasound, prenatal vitamins, parenting education, one-on-one counseling and more. Case manager Rachelle Brown told the Times Monday that clients going through the Options Pregnancy program earn points by doing various tasks focused on healthy pregnancies, including making and attending prenatal doctor appointments, attending WIC appointments, meeting at the Options Pregnancy building for one-on-one support meetings and other activities. As the points accumulate, clients are able to “cash in” the points in the organization’s Mommy and Baby Room, which offers the donated items. All services at Options Pregnancy are offered free of charge to area residents.
• Open hours: The Gainesville location is currently open Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations can be brought to the office during open hours, or pickup can be arranged locally by calling the office and asking for Mary Seewald, executive director, or Rachelle Brown, case manager.
• What it accepts: Gently used baby and toddler clothes size premie through 3T, packages of diapers, cribs in good condition and less than five years old, baby toys, baby bathtubs, saucers, Bumbo seats, high chairs and nearly anything else parents can use for new infants. For safety reasons, Options Pregnancy cannot accept car seats. Clothing should be be clean, stain-free and without holes.
• How to help: In addition to donating gently used baby items, those wishing to support Options Pregnancy can donate new packages of diapers, wipes, baby food, cleaning supplies, office supplies and any other items for babies or new mothers.
• How to apply for help: To take advantage of Options Pregnancy’s services call the office between 9 and 4 p.m. or call the 24/7 support line at 417-986-2585.
• Contact information: Options Pregnancy is located next to the Gainesville License Office (in the building behind Bullseye) at 98 First Street, Suite 1, in Gainesville. For more information call 417-679-0119 during open hours or visit the website at http://www.optionsofava.com.
Gainesville Health Care Center
The Gainesville Health Care Center is an ideal place to donate gently used clothing, books, magazines, hygiene products, activity and art supplies and more. Many elderly residents live at the facility full time, and others stay while recovering from hospital visits and other illnesses.
• Open hours: Although visiting hours are 24 hours a day, Gainesville Health Care Center’s main office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To arrange donation drop-offs, please call during office hours.
• What it accepts: Gainesville Health Care Center accepts gently used adult clothing, shoes, robes, activity supplies, toiletries, books and magazines, stationery, puzzles and board games, crossword puzzles, art supplies, uniforms for staff members and more. Nicer donations are sometimes wrapped up and used as Christmas gifts for residents later in the year. Administrator Sherri Beasley told the Times that even small things like little trinkets and costume jewelry make excellent bingo prizes for the residents’ games. Clothing should be be clean, stain-free and without holes.
• How to help: In addition to donating gently used items, those wishing to help the Gainesville Health Care Center are welcome to volunteer their time by helping and visiting with residents.
• Contact information: Gainesville Health Care Center is located on Highway 160 just a few miles west of the Gainesville square. For more information call the main office at 417-679-4921, visit www.comm-care.comor email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Treasure Gallery in Theodosia is a 16,000 square foot space that includes both a flea market area where vendors sell their own items, as well as the sale of used items donated at the store and new items. Like the Ozark County Christian Thrift Store, Treasure Gallery accepts most gently used items to be sold at the store including furniture, appliances, books, games, music, instruments and nearly anything else that you might be looking to clear out.
• Open hours: The Treasure Gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Donations can be brought into the store during open hours. It’s best not to leave donations after hours.
• What they accept: The Treasure Gallery accepts gently used clothing, furniture, household items, books and nearly anything else you may be looking to donate.
• Contact information: The Treasure Gallery is located at 5566 Highway 160, inside the strip mall next to the Bullseye station, in Theodosia. For more information, call the Treasure Gallery at 417-273-4411 or search for them on Facebook.