Son Light Center and Thrift Shop feeds those in need

All proceeds from Son Light Thrift Shop goes toward helping the center’s effort of providing food to residents in need. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

All proceeds from the Son Light Thrift Shop go toward helping the center’s effort of providing food to residents in need. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The Son Light Center has grown since it opened 11 years ago and continues to provide food for an average of 750 families a week.

According to founder Betty Oldroyd, she started by serving 10 families, and has been able to continually grow that number over the years.

The center helps those in need in Jemison and sends a mobile truck with food to offer relief to the nearby communities of Maplesville and Clanton on certain Saturdays of the month.

“There’s more of a need for food in the summer, because kids are at home more and it requires a higher demand,” Oldroyd said.

The Son Light Center has provided hope to those in need since Oldroyd moved from Shelby County to Chilton County in order to open up an antique shop, where the current Son Light Thrift Shop is now located.

Oldroyd knew that she wanted to give back to the community after encountering people coming into the store wanting to sell their possessions so that they could have enough money to afford a meal.

“It started out as a yard sale to raise money and quickly turned into a thrift shop,” Oldroyd said.

The thrift shop sells a variety of items that include clothes, shoes, videos, CD’s and carpets.

All the proceeds brought in from the thrift shop are used to maintain the center’s food stock and provides gas for travel to surrounding areas, Oldroyd said.

According to Oldroyd, a lot of elderly people benefit from the food that the center provides.

“For many of them, it’s either paying for their medication or food,” Oldroyd said.

The center receives food donations from local farmers, as well as food banks and various informal contributors.

The only forms of food or drink that are not accepted are alcoholic beverages.

According to Oldroyd, a popular item each year is deer meat that is brought in at times by deer hunters during hunting season.

“I just enjoy the feeling that you get from helping others,” Oldroyd said. “One day I hope to open up a shelter.”

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