CHECK OUT THE NEW BUCKSBLOGSPOT. HELP FOR BUCKS COUNTY BUSINESSES AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY – BUCKSBLOGSPOT

Liberty Ministries Thrift: Raising money to help men and women in state and county prison systems

by Tianna G. Hansen

Men and women in the prison systems are often left without much hope while incarcerated and when reentering the world.

Liberty Ministries and its associated thrift stores work to raise money, provide programs and employment to men and women who are in or have been recently released from state and county prison systems.

“Every item purchased and every item donated [in our thrift stores] will help keep men and women out of prison,” says Baron King, Executive Director of Liberty Ministries.

Baron has worked with the organization for five years in support of their mission to positively impact the lives of men and women inside prison and those who are transitioning back to life outside.

Liberty Ministries is a nonprofit organization first started 40 years ago by two pastors working in Graterford Prison.

They noticed all the work necessary to make a difference and joined forces.

The first thrift stores and programs were based in Philadelphia and began to expand into Montgomery County, finding its way to Bucks County with the first store in Quakertown.

The organization has opened seven thrift stores, with the most recent one now in Feasterville.

“We thought Bucks County could really benefit from our organization,” says Baron. “We look forward to getting involved in the Bucks County prison.”

Liberty Ministries already works in a number of prisons throughout the state, helping prisoners who are imprisoned as well as offering residential transitional programs for men and women leaving the system to help them learn skills so they don’t return to prison.

These programs cover vocational training, character development, spiritual formation and life skills.

The thrift stores act as the financial engine for the organization. All proceeds go toward the cause.

“This makes a huge difference to everyone in the community, whether you’re in prison or someone in the tax system.”

Liberty Ministries Thrift offers high quality merchandises at a fantastic price. The thrift stores also offer employment opportunities for ex-offenders.

“When they get out of prison, they have the opportunity for a job, they have our support.”

Recidivism rates are enormous, and many of the people in prison haven’t had experience with a legal job and suffer with substance abuse issues.

Liberty Ministries offers volunteer opportunities as well, which you can apply for in their stores or online.

Currently, they have 190 employees companywide and 180 volunteers in prisons, at church stores, in the residential program and some at thrift stores.

Volunteers visit inmates on a monthly basis to teach, mentor and prepare men and women for life outside prison.

“Our goal is to be involved in every community where we have a thrift store,” says Baron. “We are looking to partner with organizations, businesses and churches in the area to help spread awareness and get people involved in turning the recidivism problem around.”

For more information on Liberty Ministries, visit libertyministries.us.

To find a thrift store near you, visit libertythriftstores.com.

The newest Liberty Ministries Thrift store is located at 91 E. Street Road, Feasterville-Trevose.

They are now hiring, and open for donations Monday through Saturday, 9:00am until 6:00pm (closed Sunday).

Remember when you shop or donate at the thrift stores, it directly benefits men and women in the prison system.