Over this past year the store has gone through a major face lift, inside and out said Western Carolina Community Action Assistant Director for Transylvania County Sheila Galloway.
"The improvements began last fall with the outside painting of the building by the Transylvania County inmates. Partnering with the Sherriff's Department for the labor was a huge cost savings for us, saving us thousands of dollars," she said. "Jennings Building Supply and Lowes were gracious to give us discounts on paint and materials. The beautiful awning was designed and built by long time volunteer Jerry Knight with the assistance of his friend Rich DeJong donating the timbers, and his friends Jake Hagedorn, Howard Jones and Arnie Kolozvari helping to bolt the awning together."
The parking lot has also been sealed and re-striped to complete the outside transformation.
Inside the store visitors will notice new clothing racks and increased sales floor space. The area just inside the porch door, previously used for storage space, is now a showcase room with a rustic handrail.
"We are getting such wonderful donations that we had to enlarge the sales floor," said Galloway. "You will find the store neatly organized by categories of clothing, jewelry, antiques, furniture, household, books, bedding and tools."
In February a new point of sale cash register was installed that enables the store to accept debit and credit cards. Galloway is excited that next month the store will have its own website and Facebook page to inform customers of weekly sales and new items arriving daily.
"It truly looks like a different business and we just can't thank our volunteers enough for the many hours they have given to the cause of this store," said Galloway. "Customers often comment that we now look like a boutique."
Tiger Town Thrift store was established 13 years ago on Oct. 10, 2001 by Western Carolina Community Action to help provide mobile meals in the upper end of the county. Store proceeds go directly back into the community to provide hot meals to seniors Monday through Friday, often the only hot meal a day they will eat.
WCCA is a nonprofit organization that assists low-income and under-served people in achieving their full potential through quality services and advocacy through programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start, Transportation, Housing, Senior Services and Self-Sufficiency.
"With the increase in seniors living in the county and grant funding cuts, this store is more important to the community than ever," said Galloway.
Volunteers are also greatly needed who can come a few hours a day once a week to sort, price and display items for sale.
"Whether you donate items, give financial assistance, or volunteer your time at the store know you are directly helping to serve a hot meal to a well deserving local senior," said Galloway. "Come out for open house and see what all the buzz around town is all about."