Sisters work together for good of community

Published 10:44 am Monday, June 8, 2015

Phillis LeBlanc will tell you she does most of the work at Port Arthur’s Salvation Army Thrift Store.

She’s also quick to say that her sister is not afraid to bark out orders — afterall, her older sibling is the supervisor of the charitable shop that caters to those in need of clothing and household items at a reasonable cost, and Phillis is a volunteer.

The sisters enjoy working together as much as they do helping those in need, even if the relationship reminds them of their years growing up.

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“We were raised together, and I was always the boss,” Emily Green, 66, joked.

Admittedly, the eight year difference in their ages could factor into the work relationship, LeBlanc, 58, said, while admitting they really enjoy being around each other.

“It’s fun to work together,” LeBlanc said.

The sisters will have more time together each week now that Thrift Store hours have been extended by an hour.

The extra hour will accommodate those who are just getting off work at about 3 p.m., or those who have children enrolled in Salvation Army programs.

“It’s to give everybody a chance to shop,” Green said. “Too many times when people get off, or they are here to pick up kids after school, our doors are locked.”

The Thrift Shop offers good used clothing, furniture, housewares, what-nots, and much more, and is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Proceeds from the Thrift Shop benefit the Salvation Army’s many programs designed to help those who are in need.

Donations are accepted, and needed.

“Right now we are low in our donations —especially furniture,” Green said.

Salvation Army volunteers will pick unsold items up from garage sales, or anyone can drop off a donation at the Salvation Army at 3145 25th Street, Port Arthur.

Clothing is always accepted.

On Tuesdays, people who have been pre-assessed as needy are able to come to the Thrift Shop to get clothing for free.

In fact, anyone in need that needs clothing and does not have the means to pay will not be turned away empty-handed.

“We’ve got a lot of homeless people that come here,” Green said. “We don’t charge them anything, we just try to see to their needs.”

The Thrift Shop is also in need of children’s clothing now, sizes 2T and up.

“We are seeing an increase in people with needs. People are out of work, having a hardship, or maybe they don’t have the proper training to get a good job,” Green said.

The Thrift Shop also donates to anyone who has had a fire, flood in their home, or a death in the family and is in need of clothing to wear to the funeral.

“Things like that happen so fast, you can just get caught in between paychecks,” Green said.

Anyone making a donation should bring the items and put them by the door, or by the adjacent Boys and Girls Club.

Red bins located at some area retail establishments are not for the Salvation Army. In fact, they are clearly marked “for-profit,” Green said.

For more information about the Thrift Shop, or any of the Salvation Army programs call 409-983-2229.