Each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the corner of Etiwanda and Acacia Ave., the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 799 North Acacia opens the doors of the Bargain Box and welcomes families to purchase slightly used clothing at well below bargain prices.
The Bargain Box is a clothing ministry started by church member Brenda Joiner in 2008. “I saw the need for our community to have nice clothing available for everyday wear, and for special occasions like job interviews,” said Joiner who has had additional help from Hortencia Welch and Eastlyn Lessey throughout the years. “And we were holding a once-a-year rummage sale for which people were donating so many clothes, that we weren’t selling them all at once. It only seemed right to offer the clothes to people who needed low cost clothes or those who might need a clothing donation for an immediate need.”
Setting up a small area inside one of the buildings on church grounds, Joiner sets out a sign welcoming passersby to stop and check out what is for sale that week. Last week, Rialto resident Angie Martinez stopped by and bought a dress for a dollar, saying she had come to shop at the Bargain Box before. “It’s always good to come by and check out what they have,” said Martinez, “I’ve told my friends about here, too.”
Angie Consolo, a bishop’s assistant and member of St. Peter’s since 1967, was on hand to invite the public to the weekly Wednesday sale at the Bargain Box.
Father Barrett Van Buren is the priest assigned to the Rialto church and he participates in another aspect of the Bargain Box. When individuals come seeking clothing for job interviews, he is available for help with career counseling, having 14 years of experience in that field. “If a person needs any help with interview techniques or other considerations in career choices, we are certainly here to help with that,” said Van Buren.
The Bishop in Charge, the Rt. Rev. Samuel Azariah, offered an open invitation: “Our intimate and mighty Church family invites the local community of Rialto and Fontana to participate in our Bible Study every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. to get involved with this new program. They are all invited to worship with us at 11 a.m. in our Sanctuary. All are welcome, and all shall be blessed with the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.”
Father Van Buren shared that the church is joining The Good Book Club, a church-wide program designed for participants to read Luke and Acts during Lent-Easter 2018. Participants in the Good Book Club began reading Luke the second Sunday of Lent, Feb. 25, 2018, and will finish up the Book of Acts on the Day of Pentecost, May 20, 2018.
“It’s important that our community knows we’re available for low cost clothing all year round, and we’re here for immediate needs as well,” said Joiner as she arranged clothes and shoes on racks. “We have clothing for all sizes, for all ages, men, women and children. We would like to see more people stopping by to take advantage of what the Bargain Box has for them.”
The Bargain Box accepts all clothing and other items as donations on Wednesdays during their open hours.
Garment racks and shelves are also appreciated, as well as coat hangers and shoe racks.