Beginnings at the Pleasant Hill Academy
The Grab was started by Miss Emma Dodge of Pleasant Hill Academy in 1886. Ms. Dodge saw the need to provide school outfits for the students of Pleasant Hill Academy. Pleasant Hill Academy was created to provide education to rural students on the Cumberland Plateau. The Academy was established by the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Christian Church and was a boarding school. Students were dedicated to liberal arts, sciences, agriculture and vocational training. Pleasant Hill Academy was accredited by the University of Tennessee. Pleasant Hill Academy was active until 1946 when the Cumberland County School system acquired the property for a public school. Pioneer Hall, one of the remaining buildings, served as a dormitory, classrooms and library, and now houses the Pioneer Hall Museum.
The Grab was Know By Many Names, But Always The Same Mission
Miss Emma Dodge’s call for donations of good used clothing to “clothe the naked”, was heard and missionary barrels of clothes arrived up until 1970. The first store was set-up in a classroom in Woodbury Hall on Cottage Street and was named the “Salesroom.” The name was changed throughout the years to better describe the store’s purpose. It was once called “The Salesroom,” the “Rag Store,” and “The Thrift Shop.”. The need for the store’s service continued to grow and was eventually opened to the entire community and designated The Grab. The store continued until closure in 2003, but it reopened as a mission of the Pleasant Hill Community Church in 2004.
How You Can Help The Grab and Our Mission
Today, the Grab is at 9547 Sparta Rd., Pleasant Hill, and is managed by Donna Iles, with the help of many volunteers. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 10-1. The Grab has contributed items to at least 25 local organizations and individuals, and pledges that no-one in need is turned away. Call (931) 287-3018 to volunteer your time or make a financial donation to The Grab.
The Grab is a non-profit mission outreach of the Pleasant Hill Community Church, United Church of Christ. Pleasant Hill Community Church pays the salary of the manager and any expenses not covered by the store’s income.