Local thrift store reopens to serve community

Diane Smith, manager of Lydia's Clothes Closet, organizes a clothing rack in the new store on King Street. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Lydia’s Clothes Closet will be celebrating its grand reopening and will hold a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. today.

Diane Smith, Lydia’s manager, said she believes in giving back to the community.

“Anyone that is really down on their luck we want to help out,” Smith said.

Lydia’s Clothes Closet is a nonprofit thrift store that sells respectable used clothing and housewares at a reasonable price to the community. The store also provides coupons to Compassion Cupboard, a food pantry service in Strasburg.

The entire organization is run by volunteers.

Volunteers Tiffany Hockman, left, and Pat Orndorff, right, an assistant manager, organize garments in the rear of the store on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Donations come from the local community and as far away as New York, which Smith said was a blessing.

“They’ve been so good to us,” she added.

Lydia’s Clothes Closet operates with local churches and with anyone who notifies them that they need assistance. While the majority of requests come from Shenandoah County, nobody in need will be turned away, Smith said.

Patricia McClanahan and Pat Orndorff, co-owners of Lydia’s Clothes Closet, pride themselves on the quality of items they resell to the community.

“People appreciate the fact that we clean everything that is donated,” McClanahan explained. Jackets, dresses, and even toys are cleaned before they are put out onto the sales floor.

“Not only does it create a nice presentation, but it makes them feel good about coming in here,” Orndorff added.

Many local organizations made it possible for Lydia’s Clothes Closet to reopen, Smith explained. Simply Divine gave wreaths, the Northern Virginia Daily donated extra storage space, and everyday people have simply walked in and donated money she said.

“Anything we’ve asked for, they’ve given us,” she added.

McClanahan noted, “You get a good feeling about yourself. You’re helping other people, and we’re having a good time of fellowship with one another.”

Lydia’s Clothes Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday,  and will be closed Sunday and Monday. In the near future, they hope to expand their hours to one night a week and Sundays, Smith added.