Angel Network of Cooperstown’s charity store, My Neighbor’s Closet, in the hamlet of Hartwick, has reopened, again.
“We opened in March and we’ve been closed twice,” said Martha Clarvoe, Angel Network board member and MNC co-chair. “Up until now, we have tried to follow the school schedule (for staying open during the pandemic), but I think now we are going to try to stay open. I think everybody is alerted to COVID now and knows to take steps to protect themselves.”
The store reopened Monday, Jan. 22, the same day Cooperstown Central School went back to in-person classes.
The Angel Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping CCS families in need. It was founded in 2005 and in addition to MNC, it offers help with tutoring, school supplies and holiday “adoptions” of families.
MNC grew out of the desire to help the district’s families by convincing other district families to donate their no longer needed, but lightly used or in good condition clothes, as well as other goods.
The store opening in Hartwick was supposed to also be another type of unveiling for Clarvoe.
She and her husband, Paul, bought the former O.S. Burch General Store in 2010 with the idea of fixing up the historic building at 3097 County Highway 11 in a few years. They were more certain of the timeline for their passion project then they were about the use of the store, although Clarvoe had talked about some sort of cafe for years.
As it turns out, they were closer on the use then the timeline.
“So, yeah, only 11 years,” she said, followed by a laugh. “We didn’t even have a grand opening because of COVID.”
Although the work was finished enough to open the charity store in 2020, a separate cafe and food service area* is also taking shape. That, too was delayed by the pandemic.
“We just got our appliances for our kitchen,” Clarvoe said. “That took three months. I don’t think that is normal.”
The store is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays and Saturdays. Appointments are recommended to allow customers to have their own shopping times. Network officials will also take phone or email orders and arrange deliveries for families that have transportation or health issues.
Clarvoe said the store has plenty of donations and what it needs now is shoppers. Everything is free and there are no requirements or screenings needed to become a customer.
“We have a lot of clothing we’re looking to get out on the floor, but we also already have stuff on all the hangers,” she said.
Go to www.angelnetworkofcooperstown.org or call 800-431-8320 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Parking and entry is in the back. Once inside, follow the signs to the store.
Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7218.