America Strong: Priest River clothing shop owner uses store to help her community
PRIEST RIVER, Idaho– The times have been hard everywhere across the nation and a small logging town in Idaho is no exception.
People in Priest River are willing to step up and help out. That includes Angie Madden, who uses her consignment shop to lend a hand to those in need.
She opened Clothing Closet along Highway 2 in 1997. The shop is nestled along the roadway as people drive through town.
Madden says since then they’ve just kept on trucking and now her store has grown. It’s gone from a dream of so many years ago to a place the community depends on when tragedy strikes.
“We have house fires, we have different things that happen with people and they contact us immediately,” Madden said.
While the sales pay the bills, the heart of Madden and her store is seen through the “Grandma Fund.”
It started two years ago and is set to help people in need in the community. That need for help has skyrocketed since.
“The Grandma’s Fund was originated from a gal who approached me and she wanted to do something to honor her grandma. So, Grandma always helps everyone and wanted to give like the grandma that everybody wants. So, she approached me and asked if I would be interested and I was like absolutely,” Madden said.
Families know that if they need clothes Madden and the Clothing Closet are the place to go and get what they need– free of charge.
“Anything like winter coats, gloves, hats, snowsuits –we don’t want any kid to have to stay in a recess because you’re singled out. And, with those kids, it’s such a big deal to not be singled out. Life is hard enough for those kiddos,” Madden said.
Running a small business means long hours and struggles. Madden says she does it because she enjoys it and it’s not a job to her.
“I get to come every day, and whether it’s my employees or its customers, they’re family. I mean they truly are family and I love what I do.”
Madden says helping her community, her family, makes it all worth it.
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