by: Bill Vollmer/The Pioneer - Store manager Lisa Stearns, center, does the honors at a ribbon-cutting for the new Heart of Oregon store in Madras.

   The new Heart of Oregon Corps Thrift Store at 59 S.E. Fifth St., Madras, held its ribbon-cutting Dec. 20, as part of the Chamber Business After Hours event.
   The building formerly occupied by the Mountain View Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store has been brightened with a fresh coat of paint and new interior lighting.
   Heart of Oregon Corps purchased the building from Mountain View Hospital to use as a training center, where young people can get work experience.
   Store manager Lisa Stearns is the only paid employee for the nonprofit organization's Madras store, and others work as volunteers.
   The thrift store accepts high-quality donations of everything from clothing to small appliances during business hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
   Heart of Oregon, which helps young people with jobs, education and stewardship, has been operating in Central Oregon for the past 12 years, but the thrift store is a new operation.
   The thrift store allows the group to have a year-round skills training program in Jefferson County. Students from the Madras High School Youth Transition Program will be able to receive hands-on training at the store.
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