St. George’s Catholic Thrift Store receives national recognition

NSDAR members, Alta Thorpe and Betty Herzfeld present the "Excellence in Community Service Award to Catholic Thrift Store, accepted by General Manager Steve Cross, St. George, Utah, March 17, 2012 | Photo courtesy of Catholic Thrift Store

On St. Patrick’s Day, The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution presented the Catholic Thrift Store and its general manager, Steve Cross, with a certificate and medal for their outstanding service to the Washington County community. The ceremony was held at the Sixth Annual “CTS Volunteers Appreciation” luncheon at Staheli’s Barn.

NSDAR is a nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women service organization founded in 1890 and incorporated 1896 by an Act of Congress. The DAR Community Service Award is presented locally, but must first be approved on a national level.

“The recipient is expected to have contributed to the community in an outstanding voluntary heroic, civic, or benevolent manner, or participated in organized community activities,” Chapter Regent Alta Thorpe said.

Steve Cross and the Catholic Thrift Store were presented this award for the many services they perform for the community through the Dove Center, Dixie Care and Share, Hope for Child Brides, Deseret Industries, Hopi/Navajo Indian Reservations, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the Quilting Group of the New Promise Lutheran Church, and Marines of Iraq.

Founded by eight women on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1981, CTS has been serving the community, more importantly the needy, with affordable merchandise for the past 31 years.

“CTS does in excess of 200 cases of charity for the destitute in an average year. These can range from giving a pair of shoes to a transient to providing a household of furniture to the Dove Center,” said Cross.

During the luncheon, the store’s management team also paid tribute to Steve Cross for the 20 years of volunteer work he has done at CTS. Cross served in many capacities before his present position as general manager. Through his able direction and leadership, CTS has tripled in income over the past six years.

The financial support CTS provides to the church is only a part of what motivates Cross. The “charity runs,” a term coined by the volunteers, are closest to his heart. An emotional Pat Rogers, head of the store managers, said: “When a call comes in requesting items needed for a family, oftentimes Steve personally goes to help unload the truck and will come back with descriptions of the family’s responses, which are very touching, particularly those from the small children who sometimes were sleeping on the floor, but now no longer have to.”

Cross, however, is quick to give praise to the many volunteers whom he acknowledged as “very important links in the chain, without which the store and the many services it is able to provide would not exist.”

Today, CTS has over 160 volunteers, Catholics and non-Catholics. “No one has been paid in all of the 31 years,” the general manager recalled as he thanked the luncheon’s honorable guests of volunteers.

“Throughout the history of the store we have attracted people who want to give of themselves. They have all left a legacy of love,” Cross said.

When asked how a volunteer liked working at CTS, Becky Sheffer said with a twinkle in her eyes: “It’s like the set of CHEERS (citing the TV series). We have a lot of fun!”

The Catholic Thrift Store is located at 157 North 200 West (Tel: 435-673-1029). Store hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


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