A legacy of giving back

An older woman with short hair stands in the clothing section at a Thrift Shop
Julie Beck served as manager of the Care & Share Gift & Thrift Shop in Archbold, Ohio, for over 19 years. Photo provided by Neal Beck

For over 19 years, Julie Beck was a fixture at the Care & Share Gift & Thrift Shop in Archbold, Ohio. As manager, her welcoming attitude and quick smile made the store a fun, inviting place for customers and volunteers alike while raising funds for MCC’s work around the world.

In the midst of battling cancer, Julie continued to serve in what her husband Neal called “her mission” working with volunteers of all ages in the thrift shop and Ten Thousand Villages store. Julie passed away in September 2017, but her legacy of living out her faith continues to live on.

In October 2001, Julie participated in an MCC learning tour to Nicaragua and Honduras that had a big impact on her life. The trip included visits to artisans that crafted products for Ten Thousand Villages. “She was very excited to tour a small building where candles were being made and then realizing that those candles were being sold in the store in Archbold,” said Neal.

A group of tourists buy jewelry from kids
Julie Beck talks with children selling jewelry on an MCC learning tour. Photo provided by Neal Beck

The trip also involved visiting MCC water projects, including a well that MCC had funded bringing fresh water to a small village. “She saw a real need for clean water to create a healthier environment for the people she spent time with and all the others around the world,” said Neal.

Because of that trip, Julie decided to give back one-half of her salary to MCC. And Julie and Neal began to donate to different MCC programs in honor of loved ones for Christmas and birthday gifts.

“When Julie passed away it was an easy decision to designate all of the memorials in her honor to MCC water projects,” said Neal. “Water projects were very important to her and the way she lived her life.” The Beck family received over $7,000 in memorial gifts, which they brought to the MCC Great Lakes office in Goshen, Ind. “What an emotional, yet wonderful day that was,” reflected Neal.

Julie’s legacy lives on not just through the memorial gifts to MCC that continue to come in, but through the way she interacted with volunteers and customers. “Her legacy of treating everyone the same and being accepting of everyone has taught us to be more accepting of people in their current situation,” said Neal. “She gave her time and income back to further the work of MCC with no regrets. Her life continues to affect the lives of others worldwide.”