Kokomo Peace Watch to open new thrift store

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — As a major thrift store in Kokomo gets ready to close its doors for good, a local group is stepping up to make sure those in need still have a place to shop.

The Salvation Army is closing its store on South Reed Road, saying it’s not “fiscally responsible” to continue operating.

The store will close on June 3, 2017.

This Saturday, the Kokomo Peace Watch plans to open their own thrift store. Leaders say they started collecting donations for their food pantries a few months ago, but donations exceeded their expectations and now they have more than enough to open their own shop.

“For the most part we know where we live, everybody needs this stuff,” said Chris Wendt, CEO of Kokomo Peace Watch.

The group operates in a neighborhood where the need is high. Now a previously vacant building on the corner of Jefferson and Indiana will be home to what leaders are calling an “affordable thrift store.”

“This is going to be the cheapest thrift store you are going to find anywhere,” said Jimmy Jones, president of Kokomo Peace Watch.

The Kokomo Peace Watch formed seven months ago. It consists of residents concerned about crime, violence and drugs in their neighborhood.

“We just thought it was just going to be walking the neighborhood and that was it. We didn’t see it, I did not see it getting to this point,” said Jones.

The group continues to grow though. They still walk the neighborhood and now they’re also preparing for the opening of this shop.

Leaders say the landlord of the building only charges the group a small rent. All of the items inside have been donated. Most will sell for less than one dollar.

“We are not making money off this. The money that comes in, it is going to be a small amount of money to keep this building open and running to supply really cheap items to people who need it,” said Jones.

The Kokomo Peace Watch will hold a grand opening for the store Saturday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m.

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