By Nina Crowder
In 1985, the Copper Basin Community Health Foundation, a non-profit citizen-owned organization, started a thrift shop known as the Hand Me Up Shop, currently located in Kearny at 117 Tilbury Drive. They serve the Copper Corridor an area of approximately 686 square miles, extending from Oracle to Globe, including Superior and the Tri-Community area.
Originally, the organization was started to help the clinic/hospital in Kearny that was owned by Kennecott when that company owned the mine. Kennecott sold the clinic/hospital to Good Samaritan Health Services for one dollar.
After a few years, when the clinic/hospital wasn’t making any money, Samaritan planned to sell it. The group stepped up and said they could not just lock up and close it.
The Copper Area Health Volunteers grew and decided to start helping the local area students that were recent graduates of Ray or Hayden High School and planning to move forward with a medical career. Over the years, they have provided equipment for the ambulance as well as tuition for local Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics.
They have provided wheelchairs and Head Start AED defibrillatosr to both local Ray and Hayden High Schools and the Hayden Senior Center.
They currently have nine scholarships and one adult paramedic scholarship, where those that meet the requirements will be provided with a scholarship of $500 per semester.
In 1984, the Samaritan Health Volunteers formed. In 1989, they left the area and were re-incorporated as the Community Health Volunteers.
Then in 2003, the Copper Area Health Volunteers came about due to a re-organization of the group. The group was able to form based on the donations from the people at the mine, through payroll deductions and the community donations. The group is purchasing the building they are currently in.
President Rose Bradford has been a member for four years. She has a business background and ran the Kearny Inn for about 20 years. She was the first female Mayor of Kearny, she was Mayor from 1991-1997 then moved out of the city limits so had to resign. Originally, she was born in Detroit, Michigan but her family moved to Arizona for health reasons. Rose graduated in 1961 from Kearny High School, the first graduating class.
The many volunteers that work the Hand Me Up Shop are extremely appreciative of the generous donations received from community members. Joe Norris just recently donated a lot of camouflage clothing to the store. Norris used to be the ROTC director in Kearny and the clothing has been in storage at the police department prior to Joe donating it.
The seasonal items are put in storage on the property for the appropriate time or if they have items that are in abundance. They have a little of everything and there aren’t many places to shop in Kearny, so the thrift shop is an easy remedy.
Occasionally the Shop gets in a few people from the Valley or surrounding areas. Bradford recalled a gentleman that came in just before Valentine’s Day from Mesa needing a red dress and shoes to wear for a Valentine’s event. The volunteers had a good time finding an outfit for him to wear and he was happy he came to the Hand Me Up Shop.
There is a lot of good going on at the Shop, where they try to help people who have experienced loss of home and/or belongings from a fire or flood. They let people come in and shop for free in those instances.
The groups also donate $200 a month to the Florence Food Bank and $200 a month to Family First for diapers. They also pay half the cost of the ambulance attendant’s living quarters monthly. They try to do good for the community and help where help is needed.
There is a wonderful atmosphere and terrific volunteers at the Hand Me Up Shop. Take a few minutes to stop in and see what the Hand Me Up Shop has to offer.