MONROE TOWNSHIP -- A thrift store near Selinsgrove that helps the community is helping the American Red Cross with a large donation.
Community Aid near Selinsgrove was filled with shoppers looking for bargains. The thrift store opened along Routes 11 and 15 in 2013, and has since provided people with clean, inexpensive clothes. But in this instance, Community Aid provided the American Red Cross with something -- a check for $50,000.
"I know that this money is staying local because I get the reports. I know who it's helping here in the counties right here. It's a great need because when someone's house burns down in a fire, what do you have? A burned down house and the Red Cross," Glenn Chandler said.
The American Red Cross of North Central Pennsylvania served more than 700 families affected by house fires last year.
"That $50,000 is going to go towards helping replace their food, their clothing, give them temporary shelter and help them recover," Tom Szulanczyk said.
When Rich Harner of Selinsgrove heard about the donation, he was excited. The Red Cross helped his family back in the 1960s when Harner was in the military, stationed in Kentucky. When his wife had a baby, the Red Cross contacted him and helped him get home.
"They were at least four hours before Western Union got the telegram to me, so they were right on, the Johnny on the spot," Harner said.
What many people don't realize is every time you buy something from Community Aid, you help out the Red Cross as well as other organizations.
"Seven percent is going to expenses and 93 percent is going to help people," Chandler said.
The Red Cross is grateful for the money.
"When you consider that the Red Cross spends $1,000 to $1,500 per house fire depending on the size of the family and the damage, $50,000 goes a long way," Szulanczyk said.
The owner of Community Aid says he plans to give more checks like this one to the American Red Cross.