The Associated Churches of Lindsborg Thrift Shop has blossomed in popularity during its several decades of existence.
A few local customers have spread the word to solicit patrons from all over the United States.
And what began as an operation from a small home has expanded to an 8,000-square-foot building that continues to overflow with reusable household items.
This welcomed popularity has recently warranted an expansion, which is being built to the west of the building at 509 E. Swensson. The addition will be a 2,400-square-foot metal building that will be used for collecting, sorting and selling donations.
“It’s a wonderful thing for us, because the area where we were was always inundated with donations,” manager Rose Erickson said. “We desperately needed that.”
The shop is run by The Associated Churches of Lindsborg. Representatives from nine area churches volunteer in the shop and serve on the board of directors.
The shop moved to its current location about four years ago. For the last year and a half, the store has been overflowing with donations. Sorting tables have become a melting pot of antiques, kitchen supplies, decorations, linens, books and electronics.
“We realized it was getting bigger than what we had room for,” Erickson said.
The expansion project began in March, and, with hammers and saws in the hands of willing board members, is anticipated to be open around June.
“We’re excited,” Erickson said. “They’ve always met our needs.”
Those involved are looking forward to seeing this need met, especially as an organization whose mission is to help others. Funds generated from the thrift shop’s low-cost items are channeled back into the USD 400 community through rental, utility, medical, food and other assistance. The shop was able to give $32,000 worth of assistance last year.
“We’ve had a lot of people who donated from other areas say that’s why they come here, because they feel like it’s a good mission,” Erickson said.
Erickson said several families, who were victims of fires or tornadoes, have been given the opportunity to get back on their feet through free supplies from the thrift shop. Many of those same families have brought their own donations to the shop at a later time.
“We’ve had people come in and make a donation and say, ‘I’m just paying back what T.A.C.O.L. did for me,’” she said. “You know it’s worth it when they say that.”
Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for the thrift shop, but busy or not, Erickson said donations always are coming in; no donation is ever turned away.
Page 2 of 2 - The most popular donations are clothes and furniture, which also are the items of the highest quality. Some clothes still have tags on them. Once, Erickson said a real diamond ring was found in the bottom of a bag.
“The community is outstanding, and the quality of stuff we get is outstanding,” she said. “We’re just blessed.”
Raeann Marie Cabana of Red Cloud, Neb., was shopping in the store Thursday. She said she has come to the shop several times as she has visited relatives in the area.
“I love it here because I am a fellow Christian and love to see what people can do when they come together,” she said.
MaryAnn Dauer of Marquette also was shopping Thursday. She has donated clothes in the past and said it is good the shop can have a cyclical pattern of giving back to the community.
This is the daily motivation for the church associ1ation.
“It’s recycling in it’s best form,” Jim Copple, board member, said.
Bill Roth, board treasurer and fellow expansion construction volunteer said he agrees.
“It makes the community a better place and helps people that are less fortunate,” he said.
The shop’s hours are from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Contact Jenae Pauls at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel