Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco woman's thrift shop aims to combat domestic abuse

SHADY HILLS — Cindy Carson knows the face of disappointment, confusion and desperation when a loved one becomes someone to fear. She used to see it in the mirror when she was in a relationship with someone who abused her, mostly mentally.

She knows how it feels to not know when to run or where to hide. She felt the pain when she couldn't show any social services agency workers the scars from the abuse because they were on the inside. She says she didn't get the proper help because of it.

It took her 27 years, but she got out that bad relationship.

"Of course I left him many times and he always promised to stop," Carson said. "He's a wonderful person when he's not drinking."

At some point in the midst of her own struggle she had an epiphany: She became a victim only to see that she had to help others. Now seven years after freeing herself, that resolve has led her to open Treasures for Peace thrift store. She hopes that the shop, housed in a warehouse-style building where Old Shady Hills and Shady Hills roads meet, just south of the Pasco-Hernando county line, is the portal to her ambitious dream to someday become the kind of help she didn't get.

"All of our proceeds go to Peace Foundations," Carson said, referring to the nonprofit organization she started. Her first goal is to raise the $800 needed to apply for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Once she has that, it will open her organization up for grants and a world of possibilities.

Her dream is to first build and an apartment-style domestic violence shelter for women and children that would allow them to stay for up to two years rather than the month or two that is standard for most shelters.

"Thirty days isn't long enough to get your spirit back, let alone start making it on your own," Carson said.

She wants to give victims the tools, like therapy and job skills, and other resources to make new, productive lives for themselves.

She acknowledges there are several great facilities in the Tampa Bay area and she would like to work with them and offer more to those who need it. Eventually, she wants to offer housing and help for the growing number of male victims, and finally she wants to open the doors to abusers themselves who want to change and need free treatment. Of course, Carson pointed out, they would all be housed separately, or perhaps at different facilities. She just wants to provide support, programs and other resources to help stop the cycle of abuse.

"We're on a critical mission to restore peace," said Carson, 48. "A lot of people don't realize how much abuse is going on and it's not just physical, it's mental abuse, too."

She hopes the thrift store she opened nearly six months ago will eventually generate the money for these projects.

She says she and her business partner, Paul Hutchison, don't draw a salary. If they did, they wouldn't be able to pay rent. But they are already growing and she is optimistic the community will continue rally around them.

"Right now we are truly blessed in donations and are truly overwhelmed," she said, chuckling.

She couldn't do it without her team of volunteers either.

Volunteers who help run the shop don't get a paycheck. Instead, they earn $10 per hour in merchandise credit.

Wendy Dill, 52, of Shady Hills, said volunteering has helped get her out of the house after being laid off several years ago. But, more important, it helps her and her boyfriend live within a tight budget.

"It helps with the things we can't afford," she said.

Looking around the store, there's a hodgepodge of treasures, as Carson calls them, like Christmas decorations, a wicker headboard, china cabinets, a collection of wrestling action figures, record albums and baby strollers. A separate room houses neatly displayed clothes and shoes for men and women. Items are priced from 10 cents to $600.

"Nothing goes on the floor that hasn't been cleaned or laundered," Carson said. "That's the one thing I couldn't stand about thrift stores."

She knows it will take years of perseverance to turn other people's castoff items into the cash needed to start her mission.

"We need to get to the next step," Carson said. "I'm a very determined person and I want to get this facility built."

Treasures for Peace thrift store is at 18701 Old Shady Hills Road, Shady Hill. Entrance on Shady Hills Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except for major holidays. Donations are accepted on site, or for pick up call (727) 364-3222. Critical needs include monetary donations, an on-site storage shed, container trailer or the like, grant writers.

Fast Facts:

• One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

• An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

• 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

• Females are most often victimized by someone they know.

• Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police

• Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

>>if you go

Store basics

Treasures for Peace thrift store is at 18701 Old Shady Hills Road, Shady Hill. Entrance on Shady Hills Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except for major holidays. Donations are accepted on-site, or for pickup call (727) 364-3222. Critical needs include monetary donations, an on-site storage shed, container trailer or the like, grant writers.

Fast facts on domestic violence

• One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

• An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

• 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

• Females are most often victimized by someone they know.

• Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police

• Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Pasco woman's thrift shop aims to combat domestic abuse 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Port Richey man burned, dogs killed in explosion that destroys home

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — A man suffered serious burns and a number of dogs were killed when a house exploded as he was fueling an electric generator, neighbors said.

    An explosion destroyed one home and damaged another on Velvet Drive in Port Richey on Sunday night. One man received critical injuries and a number of dogs died. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Times]
  2. In Case You Missed It: U.S. sailors missing after Navy destroyer collides with oil tanker; Comedians Dick Gregory, Jerry Lewis pass away

    Blogs

    Weekends are great for unwinding, and maybe even unplugging for a little while. Here's what trended that you might have missed if you weren't on social media the last couple days.

    Dick Gregory in Washington, March 10, 2009. Gregory, the pioneering black satirist who transformed cool humor into a barbed force for civil rights in the 1960s, then veered from his craft for a life devoted to social causes, health regimens and conspiracy theories, died in Washington on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 84.
  3. Video: How to make a pinhole projector if you didn't score eclipse glasses

    Space

    CAPE CANAVERAL — Solar glasses are a must for safe viewing of Monday's total solar eclipse, the first to span coast to U.S. coast in 99 years.

    Follow these simple instructions to make a pinhole projector out of a cereal box. [Photo from video]
  4. Walmart expands grocery delivery service to Tampa

    Retail

    TAMPA — Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service to Tampa, the company announced Monday. Five locations will offer delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]
  5. Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera won't run for Congress

    Blogs

    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has decided not to run for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Congress, though he may seek another office in 2020.

    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.