Gems Donation store eyes March 1 opening

From staff reports

A new store in Sugarcreek Borough, Gems Donation Station, is shooting for a March 1 opening.

The second-hand store will open in the former building of the Salvation Army Family Thrift Store at 534 Allegheny Blvd., which closed its doors at the end of September.

Ellen Gierlach, of Franklin, who is heading up the enterprise said, “We are now accepting donations of smaller items at the donation stations, which are sheds placed on the side of the building. People can just drop off their stuff at the sheds.”

Gierlach said larger items will be handled at the loading dock on the side of the building. Until March 1, donors can drop off larger items there from 8 a.m. to noon.

“The door at the end of the dock is open, just shout in to the workers there, and we can help you,” Gierlach said. “Or ring the buzzer.”

Gierlach is hoping Gems will provide many benefits to the area. She said “the store will be similar to the Salvation Army with one big difference – all the proceeds will stay in Venango County.”

“That is the one message I want to be clear – it will benefit this area,” Gierlach said.

The store will sell second-hand items such as clothing and household items. It will also, however, add other useful things.

“I will definitely be selling recycled construction items,” said Gierlach. “I visited Construction Junction in Pittsburgh, another nonprofit, and I will be doing the same thing as them with construction material.”

Gierlach also hopes to provide space for vendors to set up booths for selling items on consignment.

“It is a big space. I have plans to use it for many things,” Gierlach said.

Gierlach said she will donate construction items to the Franklin YMCA and hopes to also help Habitat for Humanity.