After our tour in Amish country we headed to spend the night at some friends of our family whom we have known for 29 years. It is always a treat to enjoy Christian hospitality and the fellowship of friends.
Following breakfast the next morning we made our way to the thrift store where our friends, Cecil and Judy, are involved. Cecil manages the building that houses the store and Judy works part-time sorting things for the store (guess which section is her job? -- all the fabric and craft stuff that is donated!!!!! how fun is that?!). We got to start with the backroom tour. It was fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes at a thrift store like this.
Everything was extremely well organized and neat, all in readiness to go to the shop floor.
The thrift store was a perfect follow-up for our visit to the Mennonite museum since the thrift store is run by the Mennonite Central Committee and proceeds go to their mission work, which involves relief work throughout the world.
Clothes that will not be sold at the thrift store are baled up and will eventually find their way overseas. When we lived in Africa we would go to the town market and buy clothes just like this!!!! (That's how we ended up with some beautiful Laura Ashley dresses in the middle of war-torn Uganda.)
There is a room full of electronics and appliances and people volunteer their time to fix them in preparation for selling.
One thing I learned about the Mennonites from our time up north was their heart for relief work, feeding the hungry, and volunteering. This thrift store (which encompasses all these back workrooms and THREE stores) is almost entirely run by volunteers. They even have volunteers who take every puzzle home and put it together so that they only sell puzzles with all the pieces!
Behind the thrift store is an area where ladies volunteer to weave rugs that are then sold for money to put towards the relief efforts:
On our way home we stopped and bought some local produce and enjoyed melon, corn, zucchini fritters and tomato pie for dinner.