ERIE, Ill. — Erie, Illinois is a small town, but you can find some big hearts. King's Kloset is a second hand store that does so much more than reselling gently used items.
“They helped me fill my home with lots of nice things," Sheri Chaplin said. Chaplin nominated Sara Johnson and Cindy Weaver for News 8's Pay It Forward award, sponsored by Ascentra Credit Union. “I know they volunteer their time here and make sure everybody gets what they need," Chaplin said.
Johnson and Weaver helped hook her up with some furniture to make her space feel more like home. “We’re like super recyclers. I mean, that’s kind of how we look at it as," Cindy Weaver said.
They accept all kinds of donations and sort through everything to resell for a much cheaper price. “Anything we can’t use goes to either Red Bird in Kentucky to some schools down there or it goes to Salvation Army and they reuse it," Sara Johnson said. Johnson and Weaver both volunteer 20-40 hours a week.
King's Kloset was established in 1998, and just a few years ago in 2019, they were able to upgrade to a new building to keep things running better for the community.
They are also a non-profit organization so all the money that is made from the store is filtered right back out to helping others. “If anybody needs help with anything, like we’ve helped with electricity and rent. And if they need help with getting furniture and stuff, we do our best to get it for them," Johnson said.
They are there if anyone needs help in a pinch, too. “A family has a fire or they’re dislocated or take in foster children and don’t have clothing (we get) the right sizes like overnight," Weaver said.
King's Kloset donates to eight organizations monthly and helps out with scholarships at a local school. They do "blessing bags" that are filled with food and snacks that are given to children in need on the weekends. They also started hygiene pantries at four schools.
Anywhere help is needed, these volunteers step in and figure out how they can make someone's life better. They say it's a tough job, but they have so much fun doing it and love all the appreciation. “It’s a good, good place to be. You feel good when you go home at the end of the day," Johnson said.
See previous Pay It Forward award winners: