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Good Cheer expands its store to Clinton

Nancy Tallman, a volunteer at the Good Cheer Two store in Clinton, arranges Christmas items Wednesday for the store’s opening. The store opened Friday, and will sell seasonal holiday items and  furniture. - Jennifer Conway
Nancy Tallman, a volunteer at the Good Cheer Two store in Clinton, arranges Christmas items Wednesday for the store’s opening. The store opened Friday, and will sell seasonal holiday items and furniture.
— image credit: Jennifer Conway

Good Cheer is spreading on South Whidbey, and not just in the holiday spirit.

Good Cheer Two opened Friday in Clinton, at 4777 Commercial St., between Lincoln Computers and Jim’s Hardware.

Kathy McLaughlin, manager of Langley’s Good Cheer, said the store is expanding to Clinton to make more room for Langley’s food bank. In Good Cheer Two, shoppers will find seasonal holiday items and furniture.

“We’re so excited,” said McLaughlin. “We just think it’s going to be a good move for us.”

By opening the Clinton store, employees can bring the items packed away in boxes in storage out for sale. For the first time ever, Good Cheer had to rent three 10-by-20 foot storage rooms this summer. Originally McLaughlin said they would rotate out of season items as they sold or were needed.

In an interview this week, McLaughlin said the need to store overstock items has been eliminated with the new location.

“It’s so nice to have space for our overstock,” said McLaughlin. “We just have no room at our other store for furniture.”

On Wednesday Good Cheer Two staff and volunteers worked at a high-speed pace to unpack and display boxes full to the brim of Christmas items — from porcelain nativity sets to wreaths.

Volunteer Richard Stanley — official Christmas tree assemblyman — had a row of artificial Christmas trees as high as 10 feet tall lining a room of the store.

Opening day was Friday, and McLaughlin said there will be many types of merchandise to be found by thrifty shoppers. Currently filled with Christmas items and furniture, she said the store will eventually evolve to include toys and fabric, which typically comprise large quantities of donations. Other holiday and seasonal merchandise will also be displayed throughout the year, but Christmas items will always have a display no matter what the season, she said.

Mary Poolman, manager of the new store, said the store’s crew worked hard for about 11 days to get the store ready for the opening and to pull everything together.

“I’m excited,” said Poolman.

By opening the Good Cheer Two, McLaughlin said it allows more space for the Langley Good Cheer to expand their food bank. By redesigning the space the food bank occupies, it will increase the anonymity for patrons and will hopefully encourage more of South Whidbey’s hungry to utilize their services, she said.

Good Cheer’s mission, creating a hunger free community, is also growing this month. By partnering with the Maxwelton Christian Fellowship Church, a satellite food bank will open at their church once a month.

On the third Tuesday of each month, the church will be open from noon to 4 p.m. for people to use their food bank.

Anyone living on South Whidbey is qualified to use Good Cheer’s food bank services. Tuesday will be the kick-off day for the outreach program.

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