Lehigh Acres community activist Damon Shelor has been named the executive director of the Lehigh Thrift Store at 15 Homestead Rd.
Shelor, who has been active in several organizations and served as an officer on some, has taken over his duties this month.
He was named by the Lehigh Acres Kiwanis Foundation. The position is a salaried one and Shelor will be on hand in his offices at the store which nets thousands of dollars annually, thanks to the donations of items from Lehigh residents. Proceeds or profits from the Thrift Store go to the betterment of Lehigh with thousands of dollars given annually to students for college. The club also contributes to other community causes.
Shelor will oversee six employees and says he has plans for making cosmetic changes to the interior of the store and to set up marketing strategies.
At 12,000 square feet, the store is the third largest retail store in Lehigh after Walmart and Beals Outlet. The Lehigh Kiwanis Club is one of the most active in the county. There are 73 members of the local club.
Shelor has been a member for six years and has served as secretary, vice president and president.
Shelor said that of the profits of the store, some 93 percent of the money goes back into the community.
Shelor has a background in horticulture and moved to Lehigh with his wife in 1979. He said Lehigh is a great place to live because of its "outdoorsy" feeling.
"I love the out of doors," Shelor laughed. "And Lehigh just has that feeling."
He and his wife have two grown children with one living in St. Petersburg and one living in Lehigh.
Shelor, 57, is originally from Louisville, Ky., and has a bachelor of science degree from Eastern Kentucky University. He spent 15 years working for Yoder Brothers, just outside Lehigh, the grower of Chrysanthemums. He also worked for Pro Source One in sales and service in Immokalee.
Much of the success of the Thrift Store comes from the contributions of household items to the store. Donations can be furniture, kitchen items, clothes, books, computers, TVs and more. Donations must be in good shape and the store has its well-known Kiwanis truck to go to your home to pick up items.
The Kiwanis Thrift Store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.
Call 369-6336 if you would like to donate items to the store for resale.