By Dan Bechtold
Magic happens at the Winner Thrift Store. Whether it is providing food to a family in need, clothing or other help.
Now, the thrift store needs a little magic of its own in the way of donations to help pay for a new roof.
The hail storms this summer destroyed the roof and the center is in need of replacing the roof. Insurance only covers part of the cost of fixing the roof.
Laurie Anderson, manager of the thrift store, says $10,000 is needed for the roof. The Winner Ministerial Association is the owner of the thrift store. Pastor Tyler Greathouse of Carter Gospel is the president of the ministerial association.
The thrift store, which has been in its current location on Main Street since 2013, provides a wonderful service to the community.
The local food pantry is located inside the thrift store. Each month 35 to 40 families receive food from the pantry. This includes about 150 people in these families.
The thrift store is grateful to all the donations of food. Especially this time of year, many organizations hold food drives and give the food to the local food pantry.
The food pantry purchases food from local grocery stores, Feeding South Dakota and pays for the shipping on food received from USDA.
Anderson said the late Ernie Schuppan was in charge of the food pantry for many years. Now, Deb Hannett is in charge of the food pantry and Anderson says she does a wonderful job.
In addition to the food, the store is filled with clothing, books, toys, dishes, small appliances, DVDs, CDs, antiques, jewelry, crafts and this time of year all kinds of Christmas decorations.
Marlene Frantz, interim assistant manager, says the thrift store is appreciative of all the donors. “Without them we would not have a store,” said Frantz.
There are wonderful volunteers who donate their time to go through the donations and display them. There are 54 volunteers who work at the thrift store.
Fr. Kevin Achbach of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, is a member of the ministerial association and says people do not realize all the wonderful things that are done at the thrift store. “It is not all about selling products but also he money that is channeled into so many different outreach areas that one parish could not do it on its own.”
With the funds from the thrift store the ministerial association is able to help people with fuel assistance, rent, utilities, gas money or money to provide them a place to stay.
Pastor Ron Snethen of the Church of the Nazarene is the treasurer of the ministerial association and he says between $2,000 to $3,000 is spent each month to help those in need with utilities or rent.
Snethen added the ministerial association pays for the transit driver to take persons to church on Sundays, helps with the Winner and Colome School backpack program.
Snethen noted during the holiday the ministerial association will deliver to a needy family or the elderly a ham or turkey to make their holiday a little brighter.
Snethen explained after expenses, 100 percent of the money goes back into the community.
One time an auditor figured that over $250,000 plus has been given back to the community over a multiyear span.
Fr. Achbach says the thrift store is holding the potential to help a lot of people. “When I hear the story about the roof needing fixed, it is more than a roof. It is a place that is helping people in our community.”
He along with Snethen noted that if the ministerial association took $10,000 from the profits of the store to cover the shortfall it would be taking away from providing help to families who need help.
That is why the ministerial association is reaching out to the community during this holiday season to donate to the roofing project.
The Winner priest says if you are thinking of giving a gift to the thrift store why not donate to help put a new roof on the building. “It is important enough to protect this building,” he said.
Persons can also help by shopping at the store. There are lots of bargains. Come in and browse, you will be amazed what you will find. And during this holiday season you may just find that right gift for someone special.
Persons can send donations to Winner Thrift Store 222 S. Main St. or they can drop off a monetary donation at the store.
Store hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
So this holiday season, give from the heart so the magic can continue at the Winner Thrift Store.