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Hall woman working toward thrift store benefiting children’s groups
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Phyllis Johnston, owner of Trader Jack's Market Place, poses for a portrait in Clermont, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. A portion of all sales at Trader Jack's Market Place will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates and foster children. - photo by David Barnes

Phyllis Johnston’s goal in the past few months has been to create a thrift store for CASA, the court-appointed special advocates serving children in Juvenile Court.

But the long-term dream is to join their ranks.

“My goal is to have enough help in the thrift store so I can get away to do that,” she said.

Phyllis Johnston, who runs Trader Jack's Marketplace on Cleveland Highway with husband Sid, said she hopes to dedicate space and proceeds of the thrift store for Hall-Dawson CASA.

“What we’re doing now is everything that we have now is just my shop, but a portion of all that would benefit the CASA (Christmas Toy) drive,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the focus this year for them will be funding gift cards for the teenagers served by CASA. The organization is accepting dropoffs and contributions until Dec. 13 for more than 430 children.

“We’re wanting to have a clearance sale, if you will, and then we’re going to go strictly nonprofit, benefiting foster children, abused and neglected children throughout the year,” Johnston said.

CASA Director Janet Walden said Johnston’s dedication is “admirable” and she enjoys the “passion she has for the children that we serve.” 

“I’m looking forward to working with her to figure out ways that we can partner together so that we can accomplish those things together,” Walden said.

Johnston said she would like to be able to find a space in Hall County.

“There’s a lot of thrift stores for a lot of good causes, but unfortunately there are not any strictly for this cause,” Johnston said.

CASA Christmas Toy Drive

What: Donations for children served by local nonprofit, unwrapped toy and store gift card donations

When: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. until Dec. 13

Where: The Little House, 603 Washington St. SW, Gainesville

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