Volunteers in Medicine and public officials cut the ribbon on the new Thrift Store that opened Jan. 26 in the Produce Junction Plaza shopping center.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — State, county and local elected officials and the community gathered Saturday, Jan. 26 to officially open the new Volunteers In Medicine of South Jersey Thrift Store at Produce Junction Plaza, 6825 Tilton Road.

As he cut a ceremonial ribbon during the gathering, Egg Harbor Township Mayor Paul Hodson was surrounded by fellow VIM supporters, including New Jersey Assemblymen John Armato and Vincent Mazzeo, Atlantic County Freeholders Caren Fitzpatrick and Maureen Kern, Egg Harbor Township Committeeman Andrew Parker and Deputy Director Laura Pfrommer.  Also on hand were members of the Fresh Start Church who donated items for the store’s extensive inventory of clothing and household items.

Immediately following the ribbon cutting, Armato and Mazzeo presented VIM with a Joint Legislative Proclamation honoring the organization for supporting others in need.

“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, volunteers and patients, thank you for such a warm welcome,” VIM Executive Director Jackie Meiluta said. “We are thrilled to be in EHT and providing free care for the uninsured in Atlantic County.”

From left, Egg Harbor Township Mayor Paul Hodson joins NJ State Assemblymen Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato to present a Joint Legislative Proclamation to VIM Executive Director Jackie Meiluta.

Volunteers in Medicine of South Jersey is a charitable organization that runs free clinics in Atlantic and Cape May counties for the uninsured and underserved and provides quality health care and preventative medical services in a caring environment. Support from individuals, families, businesses and others in the community is vital to VIM’s success, Meiluta said.

“We rely on the thrift store for a steady source of income for our clinics,” she said. “I am confident this store will be successful, which means our clinic is able to provide free care for the uninsured.”

Proceeds from the new VIM Thrift Shop, which is currently accepting donations of gently used clothing, home goods and collectibles, will benefit VIM’s free Health Care Clinics, including the organization’s newest clinic at 3073 English Creek Ave. in Egg Harbor Township.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Donations are accepted during store hours.

To learn more about Volunteers in Medicine of South Jersey, go to www.vimsj.org or call 609-463-2846. To contact VIM’s new Thrift Shop in Egg Harbor Township, call 609-277-7075.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.