Kiwanis Thrift Shop
Most everyone in Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley is familiar with the Thrift Shop, which is owned and operated by the Kiwanis Club. However, few are aware of the financing of that organization. When the Thrift Sthop moved in 2010 from its downtown Black Mountain out to the West State Street location, it bought the store and assumed a 20 year mortgage of $350,000. The monthly payments were to be $2135 on the capital loan and the initial interest payment was to be $1633/month. However, the Club has reduced that original debt from $350,000 to $70,397 and, by making these early payments we have saved a bundle on the interest we are having to pay.
In keeping with our motto: “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, dedicated to changing the world one child, one community at a time,” we have spent much of the money saved in interest payments on improv- ing educational opportunities for local children. As our treasurer, John Knight has said, “we are focusing on technology to help break the literacy problem; there is a well-known correlation between literacy and incarcera- tion and we hope we can make a difference, allowing some students to be able to live more normal lines.”
We have dedicated $9,191 from this year’s budget to acquisitions for the science weather station project and iPads for the media center for the Black Mountain Primary School (K-3), copy paper, paper and pencil sharpeners and easels for the Primary School (1-3), science iPads and new books and classroom supplies for the Primary School (4-5), and positive behavior intervention and support for Owen High School. Another $1,000 has gone to the Women’s Prison for their “Read me a Story (Inmates to Children)” program and to Chil- dren and Friends (the pre-school on Highway 70) for playground equipment.
We have also increased the club’s budget for the current year to $170,000 and much of the increase is go- ing to technology, mostly iPads for the lower grades. A number of the teachers have been lavish with their praise for this largesse and we trust that the local public will continue to support the Kiwanis Thrift Store in its efforts at “changing the world one child, one community at a time.”