A lot of good has happened in the five years since God’s Goods thrift store opened in Bluffton on July 31, 2010.
Just ask ministry leader Kim Perri and she will be happy to share the successes, highlights and blessings.
You might have to ask her to slow down, though, because she has lots of stories. She calls them God moments.
Like the time when they donated all the children’s clothing, a popular item, to those affected by tornadoes in Alabama. Once the clothes were sent off, Perri and other managers realized the store would be opening the next day with absolutely no children’s clothes to sell.
The very next morning, volunteers arrived to find multiple bags of children’s clothes waiting by the back door.
The store is a ministry of Church of the Cross and is staffed completely by volunteers – about 180 of them, up from 60 when the store opened. A leadership team of 21 manages various tasks, such as operations, scheduling, volunteers and store sections.
About two years ago, the store expanded from its original space on Persimmon Street into the unit next door. Perri delights in telling about the God moment that resulted in the growth.
“The guy next door would often visit the store and chat with us,” she said. One day he remarked that the store looked crowded. He suggested that they move the store to a building he owns elsewhere in Bluffton.
That would be nice, Perri said, “but we have a five-year lease here.”
The next day, the man came back in and said “I’ve decided to move my business to the other building so the store can have my space here.”
The expansion doubled the size of the store.
As it has been from the beginning, all funds raised go to mission work. In five years, the store has donated more than $1 million.
About one-third of the donations are local, such as Cross Schools scholarships and My Father’s House.
Another third are for national projects, such as Stop Hunger Now and Samaritan’s Purse.
The remaining third are international ministries, such as grants to churches in Ireland and Kenya, and missions in Belize and Dominican Republic.
In addition to funding ministry programs, God’s Goods also provides what they call “pass through goods” for emergencies, such as the donation to tornado victims. Most pass through donations are local, such as furniture and household items for a family after a house fire or for a homeless shelter.
“There is just so much need, so many stories,” Perri said.
Among the needs for the store, she said, are more volunteers. “We need younger, strong guys to help move furniture,” Perri said. And she is confident they will show up. “God is running this show,” she said, “and God always provides.”
To celebrate the five-year anniversary, God’s Goods will offer refreshments and daily specials that vary each day, plus a $100 gift certificate each day July 28-Aug. 1.
God’s Goods is located at 53 Persimmon St. Store hours for sales and donations are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 843-757-2024 or visit www.godsgoods.org.