The Clothesline of Mission Waco thrift store sells clothes to support addiction recovery

The Clothesline of Mission Waco offers clothing on a budget, and proceeds go to fund Mission Waco's addiction recovery program. Courtney Sosnowski | Reporter

By Courtney Sosnowski | Reporter

The Clothesline of Mission Waco is not typical thrift store. In addiction to scoring unique clothes for cheap prices, shoppers can get even more bang for their buck because each dollar funds Mission Waco’s addiction recovery center.

The Clothesline, located at 1817 Franklin Ave., recently instituted “Wild Card Wednesday” and “Flash sale Friday” in hopes of increasing sales and awareness of the store and its mission. On Wednesday’s, a customer chooses a card which reveals the percent of discount for their purchase. On Fridays, the volunteers select certain items — one week skirts, the next perhaps jeans — to sell for $2 or $3.

In addition to supporting the mission by shopping, Baylor students can donate clothes.

“We always can use donations,” said Michelle Felkner, store manager. “We ask that it something that can be used. Not with the something-is-better-than-nothing theory. We want the people who show up back there to leave with some sort of dignity as far as the clothes that they are getting.”

The Clothesline sells primarily women’s clothing, and has options for people of all incomes. While shopping, a Baylor student may find a game day outfit, a perfectly oversized sweater, a new sundress or some new jewelry.

The proceeds help sponsor addiction recovery treatment for men who cannot afford to pay for it. Currently, Mission Waco has one residential treatment home, “Manna House,” where men can stay for several months depending on the program they need. The women’s equivalent “House of Dignity” lacks the funds to be opened.

Felkner first worked with Mission Waco at the House of Dignity when it was open in the early 2000s. When it shut down from lack of funding, she applied for her position at The Clothesline.

“When the women’s house was open we used to have the women come over here and they would volunteer to help pay for their treatment and now some of the men come over two days a week to volunteer in the warehouse,” Felkner said.

In addition to volunteer employees from around Waco, the Clothesline has Baylor students who help organize the clothes and run the cash register. Allen senior Angel Pi works at the Clothesline as part of the work-study program at Baylor.

“I like talking to customers,” Pi said. “Their lives are just different than ours and how we live in the Baylor Bubble.”

The Clothesline also has a voucher center. As people transition out of homelessness and attempt to get back on their feet, they can shop for furniture or other items by using a voucher received from Mission Waco’s Meyer center. In the past, the voucher center was a place for Baylor students’ excess furniture and items that could not be sold when they left Waco.

“A long time ago, when the school year would end for Baylor you would see U-Haul trucks pulling in here, but I guess the word kind of got lost,” Felkner said.

Donations can be made during store hours, or dropped off at the back warehouse between 8-10 a.m. on Tuesday through Thursday.

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