After opening in 1975, Save & Serve Thrift Shop in Millersburg, Ohio, recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. While that’s an accomplishment in and of itself, at the end of September they reached an even bigger milestone of contributing $500,000 to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in the past fiscal year alone.
“Save & Serve is a trusted, valued service organization known for responding to human need around the world through contributions to MCC,” said Eric Raber, one of the thrift shop’s managers. “When you say ‘thrift store’ in our county, many people assume you mean Save and Serve due to its positive long-term presence in the community. The store is known for friendly, caring customer service, attractive displays and overall orderliness and cleanliness.”
Raber, along with the two other shop managers, Jenn Hofstetter and Zack Miller, recognize that the only way to reach a milestone like this is through community support. In fact, over 500 people volunteer at Save & Serve throughout the year. “It is the volunteers’ gift of time, dependability, personal commitment and concern for those less fortunate that made this accomplishment possible,” said Raber, who began serving as the shop’s first paid manager in 2004.
The shop has gone through some changes over the 40 years, including multiple expansions and additions. But it continues to focus on the same mission and values of serving the community while raising funds for MCC.
Joy Liechty Yoder, MCC Great Lakes Regional Thrift Shop Coordinator, acknowledges the impact Save & Serve has on the community. “The local community benefits from your thrift shop by providing a place to donate used goods rather than add them to the landfill. In addition, you are providing items at reasonable prices for those who live on a limited income in your area,” she said in a letter to volunteers at the annual volunteer appreciation banquet in October.
Two of the thrift shop managers recently participated in an MCC learning tour to Guatemala where they got to see MCC’s programs first-hand and meet partner organizations that the thrift shop supports. “MCC is sharing your contributions so others benefit from relief, community development and learn methods of working peacefully with their neighbors,” said Liechty Yoder.
Save & Serve Thrift Shop is one of a network of over 100 thrift shops producing income for the programs of Mennonite Central Committee – more than 16 million in the 2014/2015 fiscal year.