The Grab Thrift Shop is an ongoing mission project providing gently used clothing at a low cost. Located at 9547 Sparta Road (Hwy 70) in Pleasant Hill, The Grab is managed by Donna Iles and a group of volunteers from the church and the community. The Grab also provides free school clothes at the beginning of the school year and donates clothes when there is an emergency situation. No one in need is turned away. The Grab is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am – 3 pm, and Saturdays, 9 am – noon.
Volunteers, who usually work in shifts of 2-3 hours once a month, are always welcome to help sort and tag clothing. To volunteer, contact Donna Iles at 262-949-6699. The Grab is supported financially by the Church, paying the Manager’s salary and deficits from income.
The Grab is a legacy of the Church’s history. It was started by Miss Emma Dodge of Pleasant Hill Academy in 1886 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. Established by the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Christian Church, the academy was a boarding school, dedicated to liberal arts, sciences, agriculture, and vocational training. Pleasant Hill Academy was accredited by the University of Tennessee and was active until 1946 when the Cumberland County School system acquired some of the property for a public school. Pioneer Hall, one of the remaining buildings, served as a dormitory with classrooms and library, and now houses the Pioneer Hall Museum.
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 thrift store was established 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 and continues today!