New thrift shop opens in Cokato

January 28, 2008

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

After Betsy’s Attic consignment closed last fall, Ann Harmala knew there was still a great need in the Dassel-Cokato community for such a service.

Harmala, along with the help of many others, will be opening Save and Share Thrift Shop in the former Betsy’s Attic location on Sunset Avenue, Cokato, this coming Friday.

With many people prospecting the space, Harmala feels blessed that it worked out in her favor.

“God’s hand is at work here,” she said.

Harmala’s idea for the Save and Share Thrift Shop was influenced by the Bible verse, “Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:19-24).

Harmala felt God put it on her heart not only to help people in the community by providing inexpensive, gently-used clothes and house-hold items, but also to expand it as a ministry.

Money made from items sold at the shop will go toward serving others locally and worldwide.

The mission of the non-profit thrift shop is to encourage volunteerism and fellowship in a Christian environment, to wisely use and reuse the material resources God has given, to support local community Christian ministries, and to donate to international Bible translation and distribution efforts.

Community fellowship

Through the Save and Share Thrift Shop, Harmala hopes to provide a place for people to have fellowship in something they commonly feel passionate about.

As a collective Christian effort, Harmala wants to promote volunteerism and camaraderie throughout the different congregations in the community.

For example, the board of directors has representatives from various churches in DC. The board includes, Jean Paulson, Barb Bakke, Jill Plowman, Marty Fitzloff, and Harmala.

At this point, the project has been on a completely volunteer basis.

“There have been lots of people who have been so generous with their time,” Harmala said.

By working there and donating items, “Our hearts can be fuller than our cupboards and closets,” she said.

A Christian mission

The board of directors will discuss where the money earned from the items sold should be donated.

Since this is a Christian-run thrift shop, the board of directors wants to support Christian projects in the community, and on a larger level, as well.

“We want to extend beyond the needs here in an outreach-type ministry,” Harmala said.

Therefore, part of the money will go toward spreading God’s Word through the national and international efforts of Bible translation and distribution.

Through the Save and Share Thrift Shop, people can save money, save the earth, share fellowship, and spread God’s Word.

The store will open Friday, Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. Store hours will be Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

People clean out their cupboards, closets, and drawers of things they are tired of, but which are still in good condition, Harmala said.

Now, they have a place to pass those items on to someone who could get even more use out of them instead of throwing the items away.

The Save and Share Thrift Shop takes donations of clean, gently-used clothing, toys, household goods, books, and movies.

Contributors will then receive a donation receipt for tax purposes.

Donations can be made during the work hours Thursday through Saturday. Check the store for the donation policy.