NEWTON GROVE — During the summer of 2016, supporters of U Care Inc. celebrated the opening of a new location for The Beehive Thrift Store to help domestic violence victims.
A little over a year later, progress for the Newton Grove location at 306 Main St. is continuing with extended hours, implemented in November. Pam Gonzalez, executive director for U Care, expressed how they’ve received a lot of traffic for the location. The hours are now 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“This will give them a chance to go shopping and it won’t interfere with church,” Gonzalez said regarding the extended hours for Saturday, which previously only went to 1 p.m., and new Sunday hours.
Proceeds support the U Care program, which helps domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The shelter, located in Clinton, provides 24-hour emergency assistance and services such as crisis intervention. According to the organization, more than 500 adults and 800 children have been served from July 2016 through June 2017.
The store was named The Beehive to honor victims who escape abuse. Gonzalez previously expressed the complex method of bees’ flight and many people find it strange that they can.
It was previously located at 301 Weeks Circle St., but was moved to the town’s Circle Plaza for more visibility in Newton Grove, with stores such as Food Lion nearby. It opened in the early 2000s.
“It has doubled since it’s been over on that side, and it’s been a blessing,” Gonzalez said.
U Care Inc. is going to keep the modified hours throughout the year to see if it works. If so, those hours will become permanent.
In addition to help with operations for U Care, The Beehive also provides a way to give victims to shop discretely for clothing and furniture needs. As a former domestic violence victim, Gonzalez remembers how it felt to seek charity and help.
“They leave everything behind,” Gonzalez said about victims. “A lot of times, they come and they just have the clothes on their backs.”
The Newton Grove location is one of two stores in Samson County. U Care, Inc. also operates a Beehive at 308 College St., Clinton. The hours at this location, which opened in 1999 will remain the same from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Gonzalez said the need for volunteers at The Beehive is ongoing for both locations. With the holiday season coming up and students out of school, Gonzalez believes U Care Inc. is a good way for parents to spend time with their children.
“It’s a good way for parents to teach their kids how to give back,” she said.