The Morehouse Challenge Thrift Store is ready to take donations from anyone looking to clean out their home or closet this summer.

Several thrift stores in Bastrop operate as charities, Morehouse Challenge Thrift Store is one of those.

The store, which functions solely on donations, supports a Christian based drug and alcohol rehab program for women. Pastor Jim Brent started the program after having a jail ministry and seeing that the majority of inmates problems were associated with substance abuse. He decided to start the program to help them reform. This particular program is only for women, but a separate program does exist for the men. The program is currently going into its 10th year and has about 25 ladies enrolled. All of the proceeds from the store go to housing, food, doctor, dentist and other expenses for the women.

The women enrolled in the program attend classes, Bible study and work in the store in the afternoons. They are also able to get their GEDs through the program.

“It teaches them good work ethic, honesty and integrity,” manager Sandra Coats said.

“We have a real good success record,” manager Dianne James said. “We get girls from all over the United States. Judges court order them from everywhere. They see our program as one that works. We pride ourselves on having a nice thrift store. It's clean and organized.”

The thrift store, located at 2031 E. Madison Ave., is open six days a week from 9 to 5 p.m. The store takes any donations except televisions. Used items in good condition can be donated in the little yellow houses in the parking lot.

“These ladies are very powerful and I admire their strength,” customer Lisa Barmore said. “We come here a lot because of these girls.”