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Bishop Nickless volunteers at Bargain Center

By RENEE WEBB, Globe reporter
(Email Renee)

Volunteers are crucial to the operation of The Bargain Center in Sioux City.

In fact, Lexie Kuhl, president of the Catholic Women’s League doing business as The Bargain Center, said with the exception of a part-time housekeeper, it is all volunteer.

“All volunteers are very important. We don’t want to lose any of them,” said Kuhl, who noted they come not only from Sioux City but outlying areas such as Dakota City, Hinton, Akron, Elk Point and so on. “We have volunteers from all around, but right now we are really short on volunteers.”

On Sept. 19, Bishop Walker Nickless was part of the effort.

Upon arrival at The Bargain Center, Kuhl gave the bishop a tour of the facility.

“On behalf of the diocese, I want to thank all of you for what you do,” Bishop Nickless told Kuhl and the other volunteers. “This is a great gift of service to the church of Sioux City and you make such a difference in the lives of so many people – both those who come here and for the Catholic schools. You are to be commended; you are living the Gospel in a real way.”

The bishop thanked the volunteers for the example they provided to others.

The bulk of the funds raised through sales at The Bargain Center go to Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools. Last year the center raised about $190,000. While the bulk of the funds go to Catholic schools, gifts were made to several other Catholic and community organizations such as Briar Cliff University, The Soup Kitchen, Mary’s Choice, Queen of Peace, The Food Bank, The Gospel Mission, the local domestic violence shelter and others.

As Bishop Nickless and Kuhl made their way through the store, he asked questions about what items they would accept for possible donation. The answer was pretty much everything other than large furniture and appliances.

The bishop also asked about how certain volunteer jobs were done there.

One woman quipped, “Oh, we have a rookie.”

The bishop’s job for the day was sacking items that were purchased. He found it rewarding to give of his time at The Bargain Center, which is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“It’s the example of Pope Francis that encourages us to be with the church and the church is certainly here,” said Bishop Nickless. “To be able to see the people in need and be able to help them is a great way for me to give a good example to others and to encourage them to volunteer themselves. Helping others is a sign of thanks for what God has blessed us with.”

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