Harvest Thrift Store annex opens up a whole new world

Harvest Thrift Store annex opens up a whole new world
Dave Mast

Wilmot Thrift Store manager Beth Schmid, back, and assistant manager Michele Glasgow continue the task of creating a Christmas wonderland in the new Wilmot annex.

                        

Harvest Thrift Store in Wilmot now has a sibling, and both the customers and volunteers will reap the benefits.

Recently Harvest Thrift Store’s board was able to purchase the Victorian-era home beside the existing store at the intersection of state Route 250 and state Route 62 in Wilmot.

The purchase will allow the store to expand, providing more merchandise as well as giving patrons and volunteers more space.

Harvest Thrift Store’s board and management team wasted little time diving in, presenting its grand opening Nov. 1-2 with a Christmas open house. The main floor of the three-floor building served as a Christmas wonderland, filled with trees, lights, angels, wreaths, candy canes, snowmen and decorations.

“We were out of room in our store, jammed wall to wall with barely any room to walk,” said Angie Yoder, board member at Harvest Thrift Store. “We couldn’t display larger pieces of furniture. We had to put bigger items outside, which wasn’t good, and we just needed more room. The new annex will allow us to better display our merchandise, and it also gives visitors the ability to walk around each of the stores with great ease.”

Yoder said before the new annex they would have to close the store, move out loads of merchandise and clear space to bring in the Christmas items. With the new store they can remain open during regular hours any time they have special open houses or events.

“It’s been exciting for us to renovate this old building, and I think a lot of people are really curious to come in and see what we have done to the place,” Yoder said of the annex. “It gives us a whole new appeal, and while it has been a lot of work, we have had a lot of fun watching it take shape and come to life.”

Yoder said the purchase also provides them with a new storage and processing facility where they can organize merchandise and keep things ready to move into the stores without having to deal with tight space and very little table room, as was the case in the old store.

“It was very difficult to even process anything over at the old store because we were so jammed with merchandise,” Yoder said. “We basically had paths to walk through and work in. Our volunteers are going to be so excited to actually have room to operate.”

The property was originally a hardware store. In more recent years it was a furniture store.

Once the Christmas season is over, the annex will provide ample room to display all of the store’s furniture, its housewares and other larger items. Clothing will remain the focal point in the original store.

Harvest Thrift Store began in 2006 by a few Holmes County residents who had a heart for helping youth. Funds raised by the store helped pay for mission trips for area young people, but it quickly grew into much more than that.

Since then the store has branched out to provide funds for countless mission programs both locally and abroad, supporting missions in third-world countries and those in need in the local area.

“We never really knew how big this could be or how much we would grow when we first started,” board member Andrea Hostetler said. “We were excited to expand from the Sugarcreek location to Wilmot, but even then we weren’t sure how it would go here. Wilmot has done really well with traffic from both 250 and 62 coming through here, and it has really grown quickly, which is why we needed to find a way to create more room.”

Included in the mission organizations closer to home are Anti-Virus Youth Education, Nehemiah Released Time Bible Education, Off the Wall Discipleship, Chili Learning Center, We Care Prison Ministry and Billy Ballenger’s Break the Grey ministry.

Overseas they have helped Melissa Herman’s The Reckoning International, which teaches agricultural practices to Ugandan and Kenyan natives; YWAM’s Kyle and Anya Schlegel, who are working in the Ukraine; Glory to God Ministries, which works with widows and orphans in West Africa; and many others.

The store repurposes both new and gently used items in its mission, using the funds it generates to help bring the hope of Christ to people around the world.

“We make value and worth out of items that many people may not value,” Yoder said. “In doing so, we have been able to impact the kingdom of God while at the same time building relationships with the people we come in contact with.”

If anyone wants to donate to Harvest Thrift Store, they may do so in a couple of ways. They can drop off merchandise at either of the stores or can drop items off at the drop sites located at NewPointe Church in Millersburg, Berlin Christian Fellowship, Walnut Creek Cheese, Countryside Chapel near Baltic, Barrs Mill Church of God or the sites located at the car wash at 209 Canal St. in Bolivar or 16146 E. Main St. in Mt. Eaton.


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