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The Hardly Used Shop in Smith Center

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The Hardly Used Shop in Smith Center is operated by the United Methodist Women. It was the idea of three Methodist women in 1976, and the name was created by the late Neola Matson. The shop has been located in several different locations, always outgrowing the one they are in.

People donate their hardly used clothing, dishes, toys, Knick knacks, bedding, books and tapes, craft supplies, jewelry, and anything that doesn’t eat. There is a donation box in the alley for anyone wanting to donate anytime. The box gets really full after the town’s garage sale day in June. {{more}}

The clothing and other items are priced by the women. A winter coat is $2, shoes are $0.50. Children’s clothing is $0.25. The women feel they are doing a service for the community in keeping the prices low. only open on Friday and part of Saturday.

It is amazing how much income this generates. Profits are spent yearly going toward many organizations locally and Methodist-affiliated organizations. The local food bank was almost depleted and the United Methodist Women contributed funds. The Help Foundation is a charity of a local couple. Keith Hooper is retired military and his wife is from the Philippines. They spend many months there. Products are made by Filipinos and sold in Kansas, giving the crafter an income.

At the change of seasons, the shop will have a sack sale. Want you can get into a paper sack costs a dollar. Then clothing is switched to the next season and the floors waxed by an individual in the community. 2

The present location on the east side of Main Street is the largest space the Hardly Used Shop has occupied. The owner wanted to sell the building so the Smith County Community Foundation purchased the building. The Hardly Used Shop then pays them rent.

A few years ago a girl purchased an item and in it she found a lot of money. She insisted to return the money and eventually the women figured out who donated the item. That event made it into the newspaper.

Since these rural towns are 100 miles from the nearest Walmart, The Hardly Used Shop comes in pretty handy.

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Nancy Shaffer board member

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