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In Rutherford County Since April, 1967 The Giving, Caring, Helpful Hand Is Called "Yokefellow"!

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Executive Director Carolyn Hardin is shown with an antique phone that is one of many "finds" at the "Spotlight Days" sale! It's a choice piece of American history and technology. The phone is typical of rare finds and antiques offered at Yokefellow. Vi
   Yoke-fellow! (yoked together). The word is used by Greek writers pertaining to those united by and bonded together. Oddly, it appears only once in the New Testament (Philippians 4:3).

   It was April 1967 that the Reverend Jerry Murray, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Forest City, together with a church member, Jewell Blanton, organized Rutherford County's Yokefellow Service Center. Both were moved by the vast needs of the disadvantaged in Rutherford County.  For a social organization working across denominational and racial boundaries to develop opportunities for the disadvantaged, Yokefellow was a first! At the time, there was a lack of such agencies in the county.

     To this day, many people regard Yokefellow strictly as a thrift store. However, what is lacking in understanding, is the fact that Yokefellow reaches out to help the citizens of Rutherford County. Money raised from the sale of donated items is used to give assistance to those who are disadvantaged and in need of help. Yokefellow has and continues to help thousands of people in Rutherford County.

     The real story of Yokefellow can be defined quickly, as we look at what they have accomplished in the first nine months of this year. Yokefellow has already helped 7,637 people! These are individuals in 2,946 families that received assistance in one of more of these categories: heating, cooling, rent, mortgage, utilities, medicine, food, clothing, household items, needed due to house-fires, and gas for Dr.'s visits! This is amazing! Yokefellow has also donated 15,441 food items and given another 12,883 food items directly to those in need.

     So, when you support their store and find bargains galore, you can think of the money you spend there as special assistance for someone less fortunate than you.

     Another impressive fact is that aside from three full time and four part time employees, this large organization is staffed entirely by a dedicated group of volunteers. These people love what they do because they see what Yokefellow accomplishes and the benefits they offer at no charge.

     To those who discover and then shop at Rutherford County's original "thrift store", you now know where all the money goes from the items sold. You also need to know that there is a half price sale the first full week every month. This Friday and Saturday, October 22nd and 23rd, Yokefellow is featuring Spotlight Days! This will be a kick off sale which will continue for two weeks. The sale will feature antiques, collectibles, a silent auction, art, jewelry, books, housewares, clothing and anything imaginable. The prices are unbelievable. There are those who brag about finding Dale Earnhardt and Vera Bradley items as well as furniture, handmade quilts, leather coats and jeans. The auction will feature old pewter, an oriental screen, Bundy clarinet, old antique phones, a collectable sled and much more.

   Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. In addition to cash, you can use Discover, Visa, MasterCard for $20 or more and bank debit cards for $15 or more. No checks are accepted. Yokefellow is located at 102 Blanton Street in Spindale, just one block off Main Street.

     When you shop there you not only get a great bargain, but you can feel good about helping your neighbors in need.

   Rutherford County is truly blessed to have such a great organization.

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