Non-profit thrift store helping our local community heroes

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 12:34 PM EDT
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

(News 12 This Morning)

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Jerry Nault wants to help those dealing with the wounds we can't see.

Jerry served in the military and worked in law enforcement for more than two decades. He understands what some first responders and military veterans are going through.

That's why when he opened up his non-profit thrift store in June he knew he had a chance to make a difference.

Conversations happen all the time. But the ones happening inside Jerry's thrift store are different.

He says, "Here's a chance maybe to save one person, one family. If I can do that. That's what it's all about."

Jerry opened up the store to help first responders and veterans struggling with mental health. He says, "Instead of retiring, I'll dedicate my life to doing this. It feels great to have these guys come in and have a place to talk with other veterans and feel the camaraderie."

There are veterans like Howard Stallings that stop by. They sit down and have a cup of coffee and just talk. They talk to veterans that know what they're going through. Veterans that have seen what they've seen.

Jerry says hearing and seeing them open up to one another is special.

When Howard got out of the military he suffered from anxiety and depression. He says, "You try to live your life as best as possible, but its extremely difficult."

Howard says he built up walls and felt isolated from everybody. There were days his depression was so bad he wouldn't even leave the house.

Things were difficult until he met Jerry. That's because the money made from selling someone's old couch or old shoes is helping Jerry send people like Howard to Landmark Forum.

Jerry says when he was getting everything sorted out to the get Howard to the self-help seminar he got very emotional, "I cried. I knew the effect it would have on his life. There's no question."

Howard came back from the three day forum in control of his life. "That isolation that you feel. That traptness. It's gone," he says.

Jerry says this is just the beginning. Their hope is to send 2 to 3 people to every class. "When you can help that many people, you know you are doing the right thing."

Jerry hopes to open a few more non-profit thrift stores around the CSRA in the future.

Share In Love is located on 4435 Jefferson Davis Highway in Clearwater, S.C. (near the BiLo and Post Office). For more information you can visit their Facebook page

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