By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Mary Ann Cox would be proud of the thrift store that bears her name in Warsaw.
“She would really greatly appreciate this,” said her daughter-in-law Deb Cox on Friday, Oct. 1. “She would have been so honored that it was named after her.”
That shop is Mary Ann’s Place, which serves both The Beaman Home clients and the community. The Beaman Home is a nonprofit that assists victims of domestic abuse in Kosciusko, Marshall and Fulton counties.
Mary Ann Cox was instrumental in The Beaman Home’s founding in 1985.
The Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon-cutting on Friday for Mary Ann’s Place’s new location at 704 S. Buffalo St., Warsaw.
The shop was previously located at 325 Argonne Road, Warsaw. The new location offers more space.
“This is about a 1,000 square feet more than our space over there,” said The Beaman Home Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Hayes.
The shop includes clothing for adults and children, household items, holiday decorations, jewelry, books, movies, toys and baby items among other things. It provides items for Beaman Home clients in a variety of situations, explained Mary Ann’s Place Program Manager Martha Miller.
“We have the people that are (at The Beaman Home’s shelter) that need clothing, they come in and get it,” she said. “We have the outreach clients that don’t live at the shelter, but they still utilize the services, they can come in and shop and then the ones that are moving out can come in and get what they need to start over.”
The number of clients the shop serves per week varies.
“It just depends,” said Miller. “This past week, we had one person moving out, so we were shopping yesterday for household things and I had two or three come in for clothing, so it just depends on where they’re at in any given time. It could be none in one week and then five in a week. And then some just come in – we give them vouchers – and then if they want to come in shopping when we’re open, they just shop and that’s what they give me instead of the money.”
The shop is also open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with sales from items benefitting Beaman Home programs, including its child care one.
“We really would like to expand our child care program,” said Hayes. “That’s one of the things we currently don’t have grant funding for, because we’re offering drop-in child care for folks that are going on job interviews or doctor’s appointments, they don’t want to take the kiddos with them. We would like to be able to expand that program so we could do it all day as opposed to drop-ins because right now we have to max it out at two hours. I just don’t have the staff for it, but at some point we’d like to be able to do it maybe not for full-time child care but for longer drop-in hours.”
Miller explained how she hoped the store would continue to serve Beaman Home clients and the community.
“Well, the clients, obviously they can get their needs and by having it as a thrift store we can pay our overhead cost and eventually contribute more to The Beaman Home,” she said. “For the community, they can get clothing and things at reasonable prices. People know that if they donate it, it will be used.”
To donate, people may bring in items during public store hours or by setting up an appointment to bring them in by calling (574) 253-2347. People may donate items mentioned above as well as toiletries and furniture, which are only for clients to receive.
If people have questions about whether or not they can donate an item, they can also call the above number. Monetary donations to The Beaman Home may be dropped in a box inside Mary Ann’s Place. People may also learn how to donate by going to the organization’s website.
To volunteer at the store, people may also fill out a form on the website.