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Thrift store gets major clothing donation

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A locally-owned business donated a wealth of new clothing to the Salvation Army of Wilson recently, and nonprofit organization officials could not be happier.

“As the ladies were unloading the boxes, they were crying,” said Gary Proffitt, chairman of the social services committee. “It was such a blessing, especially having new clothes to sell. Before this, we had like three men’s dress shirts in the thrift store, but Hilton’s probably donated about 100 new ones and more.”

Walker Finklea, who took over Hilton’s Men & Ladies’ Fine Clothing earlier this year, called Proffitt recently trying to figure out the logistics of donating boxes full of about $42,000 worth of clothing to the thrift store, located on Hines Street.

“I did some spring cleaning and thought, ‘Why should all this overstock just sit here when we can give it to those in need?’” Finklea said. “Seventy percent of what we donated was for men with dress shirts, coats and suits. There is some good everyday items and it is all in perfect condition.”

The 24-year-old Finklea said she thinks giving back to the community is essential to business ownership. She added that store manager Mike Perry really helped make the donation come together.

“Clothes are something people will always need,” she said. “Giving a check is one thing, but giving clothes is a more tangible way to help, and it is a really good feeling making sure someone in need has some clothing that makes them feel better or a suit that helps them get hired.”

Proffitt said he hopes other businesses will contribute to the nonprofit organization through donations, volunteering and pitching in for the Christmas season through the Angel Tree program and the Red Kettle Campaign.

“We’re continuing the Double Dollar Days this year, so businesses or individuals can sign up to match kettle donations and that really helps us toward our overall goal,” he said. “We also have businesses that adopt groups of families for the Angel Tree and really give them a blessed holiday.”

The donation from Hilton’s also included clothing for women. And most of it has been sold already.

“Walker said she wanted to be just like her dad and give back to the community,” Proffitt said. “She is a new business owner and she’s already helping in a big way, so that speaks volumes.”

To volunteer for the Salvation Army or make a donation, call 252-243-2696.