Have you heard about Branson’s hottest new place to find bargains? Lots of people are getting a good buy and helping a good cause – at the same time.
The Jesus Was Homeless Thrift Store opened for business on August 1, and people have been flooding in ever since.
From the very start, we wanted this store to be different from other second hand shops, garage sales or flea markets. This is not just another store that exists to make money. We want it to genuinely empower the people we serve by offering opportunities to have on the job training.
We found the perfect spot on the ground floor of our new facility at 310 Gretna Road and set about turning those plans into reality.
Location is critical for any retail establishment, and our location offers a great advantage. It’s one of the few thrift stores on the west side of Highway 65, making it easier access for those we serve, as well as providing a Thrift Store experience on this side of town. For those we serve, let me tell you why having it nearby is important to them, and the difference it’s already making in lives.
During the first week the store was open, a woman I’ll call Lisa visited. She asked if we could give her a pair of pants for her husband, who really needed them. We told Lisa the store doesn’t give away items for free. However, if she would work in the store one hour, she would get reward points on a JWH Reward Card which can be used to purchase items in the store.
Lisa wound up working five hours. Not only was she able to buy pants for her husband, she also purchased shoes for her 11 year-old son. His old shoes were so worn out, the soles were actually falling apart. You should have seen his smile as he threw that old pair into the trash can!
I could go on and on with more stories just like this. Because our thrift store not only sells merchandise, it’s truly empowering people right here in the Branson community.
It serves several other important purposes as well. Proceeds provide an additional funding source to help Jesus Was Homeless reach even more of the people we serve. It lets customers purchase items they really need while maintaining their dignity and self-respect. On top of all that, it provides an important opportunity for our Jobs for Life students to gain practical, hands-on retail shop experience. That gives them a huge asset when they’re ready to look for a full-time job.
We need your help to continue the Jesus Was Homeless Thrift Store’s success. You can volunteer to work in it, you can shop there, and you can donate your gently used clothing, household items or anything else you’re eager to get out of your house or garage. Just drop them off during regular business hours (Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and we’ll do the rest. And remember, your donations are tax deductible.
Again, this is not just another store that exists to make money. We want it to genuinely empower the people we serve. And with your support, we’re well on our way to making that happen.