A Fresh Start

The Secondhand Store that Helps Heal Hearts

Estill local, Sheila Roemeling has always had a heart for helping others in her community. Through nonprofit organization, Fresh Start Healing Heart, she compassionately walks beside survivors of human trafficking, providing safe housing, immediate needs, and restorative services for emotional, spiritual, physical, educational, and financial healing.  Sheila had a particular vision for how she could additionally help survivors going through troubled times. When she started tossing around this idea, amazingly the puzzle pieces began to fall into place.  She saw her opportunity to make her dream of a secondhand store that serves the community as well as survivors of human trafficking a reality.

Fresh Start Clothing and Accessories celebrated the official grand opening January 25, 2022.  It is a donation-based thrift store that funds the mission of Fresh Start Healing Heart as well as serves the community of Estill and all of Hampton County. It is such a resourceful way to take the concept of second-hand goods, style it, and market it as a premier shopping experience, as well as using the funds to create something beautiful that gives survivors in need a hand up.  Additionally, it provides apprenticeships and training opportunities for those interested in the retail industry.

It’s important to understand that human trafficking can happen to anyone. Many think that young, impressionable people fall into trouble but there isn’t an exemption for race, class, age, or family history.  It is everywhere.  Yes, even in the Low Country.  Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry: pornography, residential brothels, escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution. Labor trafficking has been found in diverse labor settings: domestic work, small businesses, large farms, and factories. 

Thanks to the work of Fresh Start Clothing and Accessories, the assorted items that are donated become like new to another person while also bringing new life to survivors. The clients Fresh Start Healing Heart houses and supports were once in a dark place, perhaps feeling trapped or broken to pieces after a troubling season of life. They can create a new future for themselves and their families with the support and care they receive from Fresh Start Healing Heart.

The store takes in all used and new clothing and accessories donations.  Their goal is to provide accessible goods for everybody in the community and walk alongside those in recovery or in need. Visit Fresh Start Clothing and Accessories at 680 Martin Luther King Blvd, Estill, SC.  Hours are Tuesday -Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.  You can donate items as well as shop for a good cause. Be sure to inquire on ways you can volunteer.  Fresh Start is always looking for extra hands and help with the store.  There are opportunities for apprenticeships and internships.  What a great possibility for students to enhance their community service.  Many hands and hearts can accomplish so much.   

Previously published in Hampton County Guardian and Bluffton Today

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