Thrift Shop Ministry Still Thrives After 18 Years
Prominently located on the main street of downtown Burlington, the Spruced Up Thrift Shop cruises into its 19th year as an Adventist Community Services ministry of the North Cascade Church.
Eighteen years ago, church members envisioned helping people in Skagit Valley through the ministry of a thrift store. In October 1996, the Spruced Up Thrift Shop opened its doors to the community.
Depending entirely on donations and volunteer cashiers allows the Spruced Up Thrift Shop to donate its profits to charitable organizations. Over the past 18 years, recipients have included Meals on Wheels, Children’s Hospital, Community Action Agency, Helping Hand Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and various Red Cross chapters.
Wes Paul, North Cascade Church member and current Spruced Up coordinator, reports, “Last year we donated over $11,000 to local agencies.”
Thrift shop volunteers receive frequent compliments on the well-organized, clean and friendly atmosphere of the store, and many customers return on a regular basis. “Chris Petersen, our store manager, does an outstanding job keeping the place in order and making sure our prices and stock are appropriate,” Paul says.
In addition to offering inexpensive shopping for the community and helping to fund charities through profits, the store contributes leftover clothing and household donations to other agencies. “Nothing goes to waste,” Paul explains. “What we cannot use is sent on to other agencies who can use it. Every year we give close to 275 bags of clothing to support the homeless.”